- 1.2-1.5kg (2lb 12oz) free-range chicken
- 8 peppercorns
- few parsley stalks
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small swede, cut into large cubes
- 3 large carrots, cut into large cubes
- 3 leeks, sliced diagonally
- 1tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
Remove any string from the chicken and place in a large, lidded pan. Cover with water and add the peppercorns, parsley stalks and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then skim the surface, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Once the chicken is cooked through – pierce the thigh joint and any liquid should run clear – remove to a dish. Add the swede, carrots and leeks (you can add extra veg here, such as onion, turnip or little chunks of potato) to the stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, take off the skin of the chicken, discard and pull off the cooked flesh. It’s nice to leave it in big pieces and it may help to have rubber gloves on as the chicken will be hot!
Return the chicken flesh to the stock pan, bring it back to the boil, add the chopped parsley and tarragon, then ladle into large warmed soup dishes. You could also add a dollop of pesto if you like.