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Using The Whole Chicken

October 25, 2013
by Shannon Hepburn

Roast chicken is the ultimate.  Poached chicken is equally as delightful for several reasons.  I love the delicate texture of the meat.  You are left with a large pot of good chicken stock which can serve as a base for a soup or a stew.  Poaching a chicken is great year round and any seasonal veg may be added right to the pot with the chicken as it nears the end of cooking time.  And because the chicken is shredded, you have the luxury of leftover chicken for an additional meal or two depending on how many you are cooking for.  For my meal I decided to roast some sliced fennel, potatoes and onions while the chicken was poaching.  To serve ~ add a small handful of shredded chicken to a bowl, spoon on some roasted veg, add a few of the poached carrots and ladle on some of the poaching broth.  Top with a sprinkle of salt and chopped parsley and that’s dinner.


  1. Put chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Bring to barely a boil and reduce heat and simmer for roughly one hour and 20 minutes. If you mistakenly boil the chicken, you’ll end up with tough stringy meat. If you would like to add some seasonal veg to your pot you may use these cooking times as a guide~
  2. Chopped turnips – 30 mins
  3. Cabbage – 20 mins
  4. Chopped potatoes/ new potatoes – 20 mins
  5. Quartered fennel – 20 minutes
  6. Spinach – 30 seconds
  1. if you don’t plan on using it right away for a soup, stew, risotto or gravy pour into freezer bags and save for a time when you will be in the kitchen
  1. you’ve practically got chicken noodle soup – boil some noodles, add some broth & season to taste
  2. * make a rice, chicken and veg bowl – prepare a pot of rice, steam some veg, reheat the chicken and assemble a bowl top with broth or a splash of oil and chopped fresh herbs
  3. * make simple chicken tacos – add beans, cabbage, cheese & salsa
  4. * even easier make quesadillas – shredded chicken + cheese
  5. * top a baked sweet potato with shredded chicken and caramelized onions
  6. * make chicken salad for lunches
  7. * put shredded chicken on top of a green salad for a light dinner
  8. or make a chopped salad using whatever leftover veg you’ve got in the crisper. make sure to add something sweet like chopped apples, raisins or dried cranberries. something crunchy like celery, radishes , nuts or seeds and something salty like olives or feta cheese.