Epic poached chicken and dumplings

By Jamie Oliver
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  • 1 x 2 kilogram whole free-range chicken
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 2 large carrots
  • 8 baby carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery heart
  • 1 bunch of mixed herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon (30 grams)
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 250 grams fine egg noodles, made with free-range eggs
  • 250 grams fresh or frozen podded peas
  • 250 grams fresh or frozen podded broad beans
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 5 tablespoons chicken fat (from the poached chicken)
  • 120 grams medium matzo meal, plus extra for dusting

Mustard sauce:

  • 4 teaspoons English mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Fiery horseradish:

  • 35 grams fresh horseradish
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 100 grams half-fat crème fraîche
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place the chicken in a large, deep pot with the juniper berries and one teaspoon of sea salt, then cover with cold water.
  2. Pop the lid on and simmer over a medium heat for one hour 30 minutes, skimming away and discarding any scum and froth, and reserving any fat that rises to the surface.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauces. For the mustard sauce, mix the mustard powder, vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pepper together in a little bowl, then sprinkle over the reserved herby fennel tops from the chicken recipe.
  4. For the fiery horseradish sauce, peel the horseradish and finely grate into a little bowl with the lemon zest, then squeeze in the juice. Stir in the crème fraîche, drizzle over a little oil, season and mix well. Put both sauces in the fridge until you're ready to serve up.
  5. Trim the fennel and chop into eight wedges, reserving any herby tops for later. Scrub and trim the carrots, roughly chopping the large ones, then peel and quarter the onion, and trim and roughly chop the celery, reserving any delicate yellow leaves.
  6. When the time’s up on the chicken, tie the herbs together and add to the pot with the bulb of garlic and all the veg, except the peas and broad beans. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the veg are perfectly cooked and the chicken is falling away from the bone.
  7. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Beat the eggs with five tablespoons of the reserved chicken fat, then stir in the matzo meal and a pinch of salt and black pepper – the dough should be quite sticky.
  8. You want to make about 24 dumplings, so, with wet hands, form three to  four centimeter balls, placing them on a large tray lined with greaseproof paper as you go. Firm up in the fridge until needed.
  9. Once done, carefully transfer the chicken and veg to a large bowl. Pour the broth through a sieve into a large shallow pan (big enough to fit the dumplings in a single layer), then taste and season to perfection.
  10. Bring to the boil, then dot in the dumplings. Cook for five minutes, then add the noodles, peas and broad beans, and cook for a further five minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, pull the chicken off the bone in big chunks, discarding any bones and skin, then arrange nicely on a serving platter with all the veg, ladling over a little of the cooking liquor to stop it from drying out. Drizzle with oil, then scatter over most of the remaining fennel tops and the reserved celery leaves.
  12. Serve steaming ladles of chicken broth with the dumplings, noodles, peas and broad beans. Top generously with shredded poached chicken and veg. Finish with mustard sauce and fiery horseradish, to taste.
Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories: 501, Fat: 16.7 grams (4.7 saturated), Protein: 41.4 grams, Carbohydrates: 48.5 grams, Sugars: 6.5 grams, Salt: 1.3 grams, Fibre: 5.9 grams

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