Chicken and vegetable broth with tarragon sauce

Serves 6

For the stock

1 medium-sized free-range or organic chicken
1-1.5ltrs chicken stock
A handful of tarragon
10 black peppercorns
A handful of parsley stalks
A head of garlic, halved
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, halved lengthways, roughly chopped and washed
1 bulb of fennel
2 bay leaves

To serve

2 heads of fennel, trimmed and cut into 6 or 8 wedges through the root
2 carrots, peeled and sliced on the angle
1 leek, sliced on the angle
4 sticks of celery heart, sliced on the angle
24 Charlotte or waxy new potatoes, peeled

For the sauce

tbsp chopped tarragon
tbsp chopped mint
1tbsp chopped parsley
tbsp Dijon mustard
Olive oil to mix

Put the chicken in a large saucepan with the cold chicken stock and the rest of the ingredients for the stock. Bring to the boil, season and simmer for 20-25 minutes then turn off the heat, cover with a lid; leave to cool.

Once the chicken is cool, remove the skin and remove all the meat from the legs and breasts and cut into good-sized chunks. Skim any fat from the broth and strain into another saucepan.

Simmer the broth until it has reduced and has a good flavour; season again if necessary, then add the second lot of vegetables and potatoes; simmer until tender.

To make the sauce, mix the chopped herbs with the mustard, then stir in enough olive oil to form a thin sauce. Add the chicken to the soup, serve and spoon the sauce on top.

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