Poached chicken with asparagus

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

This dish reminds me of my days spent at the Dorchester with Anton Mosimann when he was doing cuisine naturelle. We used to poach and steam an awful lot of meat and fish and serve some dishes containing no butter or fats. The crucial thing with this dish, however, is to use a good strong chicken stock.

4 free-range chicken breasts
500g asparagus with the woody ends trimmed
500ml good strong chicken stock
2-3tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the asparagus about 3-4 cm from the tips and roughly chop the ends, reserving the tips. Cook the chopped ends in some of the chicken stock for 5-6 minutes until soft, then remove with a slotted spoon and blend to a smooth purée in a blender.

Place the chicken breasts in a wide saucepan and pour in the liquid that the asparagus has cooked in, and cover with the rest of the stock. Season, cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 6-7 minutes, then leave in the liquid.

Cook the asparagus tips in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until tender and drain.

To serve, re-heat the purée and spoon on to warmed serving plates and place the chicken on top. Toss the asparagus tips in a pan with some of the olive oil and season; then scatter over the chicken. Drizzle some more oil over if you wish.

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