Poached chicken breasts in vegetable and herb sauce

Poached chicken breasts in vegetable and herb sauce


4 people made this

About this recipe: A tender chicken breast absorbs the essence of a seasoned poaching liquid, which keeps the meat succulent. Here, the chicken picks up the gentle onion flavour of leeks and the fresh taste of tarragon.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 4 

  • 450ml (16fl oz) dry white wine or 225ml (8fl oz) each apple juice and water
  • 3 medium celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 large leek, thoroughly washed and chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 225ml (8fl oz) low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 15g (½oz) butter
  • pepper to taste

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:36min  ›  Ready in:51min 

  1. In a large frying pan over moderately high heat, bring the wine (or apple juice), celery, leek, carrot, stock, parsley and tarragon to the boil. Add the chicken breasts, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, cover with foil and keep warm.
  2. Increase the heat under the pan to moderate and boil the poaching liquid, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove 4 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Stir this into the rest of the mixture in the pan and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until the sauce boils and thickens slightly.
  4. Remove from the heat and swirl in the butter. Add pepper to taste. Transfer the chicken to warmed serving plates and spoon over the sauce.

Some more ideas

Poached fish in vegetable and herb sauce: Substitute 450g (1lb) plaice fillets for the chicken. Add to the poaching liquid in step 1 and simmer, covered, for 5–6 minutes or until just cooked, then remove from the pan and finish the sauce as in the recipe.
*Change the herbs, using chopped fresh basil or thyme rather than tarragon.
*Use skinless, boneless turkey breast (fillets) instead of the chicken.

Health points

While celery is relatively high in sodium for a vegetable (35mg per stick), it also contains unique compounds called phthalides that some people believe may lower blood pressure. How phthalides work is under review – preliminary studies indicate that the compounds may reduce the level of some hormones that constrict blood vessels.

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Reviews (1)


I cooked this healthy meal for myself and wife and we both thought the meal looked good however it lacked seasoning,taste or something else. i will post a picture soon and would welcome any suggestions on improvements to the taste - 10 May 2014

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