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King Henry IV of France promised “a chicken in every pot, every Sunday” to the French back in the 17th century and things haven’t changed much since then. Chicken remains a classic French Sunday meal, as the lines for roast chickens prove at the markets and butcher shops on the weekends will attest to.

People in France eat chicken on other days of the week but some consider it a second-place meat and for years beef was seen as the most luxurious and healthy choice. My first housecleaner told me that I needed to eat beef on more than one occasion, to be healthy. In recent years beef consumption has been falling in France, but I often choose chicken over beef, which Romain teases me about, saying it’s très américan to order it so often at restaurants, and sometimes call me le chicken man. But when I made this Poule au pot for him recently (at home, so he was happy), he said it was the best he’s ever had. And as you can tell, he’s a tough customer.

Traditionally, Poule au pot was made with a poule, a stewing hen. Interestingly, if you go to the Nouvelle Aquitaine website, the region where Poule au pot is said to originate, the French language version of their Poule au pot recipe calls for a poule whereas when you toggle the recipe into English, it calls for chicken. Their recipe also specifies (or non-specifies) a nebulous cooking time in the preparation steps, but just under the recipe title it says the recipe takes “2 1/2 hours” to cook, which sounds about right for a stewing hen, but a long time for a chicken. The Nouvelle Aquitaine website also calls for rice, mushrooms, and “white sauce.” But the photo accompanying the recipe shows no rice, mushrooms, or white sauce.

(Another gastronomic difference between the two cultures is that French people like their vegetables well-cooked as opposed to what is sometimes referred to as “American-style,” where they still have a little crispness.)

But we had dinner with some friends recently a French-American couple, they saw me making the Poule au pot on social media. He (the American half) told me the dish was served with mayonnaise (further investigation revealed it is also sometimes served with sauce Béarnaise) and served in two courses; the chicken and vegetables first, then the bouillion with perhaps some vermicelli noodles in it. If you do a deep dive into Poule au pot, there are versions that are even served cold, with mayo.

I took a look at what Madame E. St.-Ange had to say in La Bonne Cuisine, which is sort of the French Joy of Cooking (published in 1927, and translated into English in 2005), and she adds bacon. She also notes that country kitchens weren’t well-outfitted at the time, and often just had one gas burner, so vegetables weren’t sauteed separately as some people do now. And she also said that in professional French kitchens, chefs are known to add veal stock to the pot, to give the bouillon more body, but conceded that was unrealistic for home cooks.

When you buy a chicken in France, they are prepared and trussed even when you get them at the grocery store, such as the one I bought above. It’s a nice touch, but if you go to a butcher or volailleuse or volailler, they will prepare the bird for you, removing whatever you want removed, and tie the whole thing up so it’s ready to go. However for this recipe, you don’t really need to do that, so no need to work on those trussing skills. Whew!

Chickens sold in France with a Label Rouge symbol are free-range and are rustique breeds, and have other qualities that make them different than standard chickens. The meat tends to be firmer and they release more natural gelatin, resulting in a more velvety broth, especially noticeable when you serve the leftovers the next day.

I was scratching my head in a recent newsletter post about shopping at the French markets and wondering why some people buy one turnip or a lone parsnip. It seemed to me that if you were going to cook one root vegetable, due to the longer cooking time, you may as well cook a few. Afraid someone might catch me buying just one turnip for this, I ended up buying two, so you’re welcome to use two if you want. No two recipes are the same for Poule au pot so feel free to improvise with other vegetables.

One place I don’t recommend that you go, however, is toward le cube, dried bouillon in tablet form. They’re used frequently in France but my preference for a shortcut is to resort to Better Than Bouillon, which doesn’t have a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. A reader noted to me that a company is now selling boxed stock in France, and for a while Picard, the frozen food store, was selling bags of galets (disks) of reduced stock. (Although I just checked their website and it doesn’t seem to be listed any longer. Just one that’s a mix of chicken and beef stock.)

Honestly, Poule au pot makes the perfect dinner any night of the week. It requires little preparation and is even better reheated. When I moved to France if I was having people over for dinner, I would figure one chicken for every two people…and always had tons of leftovers. Now I realize that one chicken can feed six in France. (Yes, that’s right.) And now I’m surprised when I go out to eat in the U.S. and am served an entire half a chicken just for me. I appreciate the generosity but thank goodness for doggy bags.

What I can say for a fact is that the two of us got three meals out of this, the last was a delicious chicken soup with the leftover chicken meat shredded, and served along with the vegetables in broth. I’ll also say that if you can get a good-quality chicken, you’ll be rewarded with a richer stock and a more flavorful bird. Browning it in the pot isn’t a necessary step but I find it gives the sauce more depth, so recommend doing it.

Poulet au pot (Chicken in a Pot)

You can change things around if you want, swapping out parsnips or rutabagas for the turnips. No whole cloves? Add a very tiny pinch of powdered cloves to the bouquet garni in the cheesecloth.
Regarding stock, some are salty so you may want to add less salt than indicated in step 3 (maybe 2 teaspoons) if you're using store-bought stock, and add more salt later if needed.
Since the vegetable will be cooking for a while, I cut them on the thick side. If you want them firmer, you can add them later in the cooking process.
Small or "boiling" onions (as they're sometimes called) are a bit of a task to peel but they can be dropped in a small saucepan of boiling water for about a minute, then drained and rinsed with cold water, which'll help the skins slip off. If you want to use regular onions, cut them into sixths or eighths.
I used a standard-sized chicken for this recipe, which was between 1.75-2kg (about 4-pounds) but you can use another size chicken. If it's much smaller or larger you can adjust the cooking time if necessary.
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 5 branches fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 12 small boiling onions (or shallots), peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 medium (250g) carrots , peeled, cut into 3/4-inch (2cm) batons
  • 1 medium (220g) turnip , peeled and cut into 1-inch (3cm) cubes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 small (400g) new potatoes ,
  • 1 quart (1L) water
  • 1 quart (1L) chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium (preferably)
  • 4-5 stalks of fresh parsley, plus additional chopped parsley for garnish
  • Make a bouquet garni by studding the onion with the cloves. Wrap them in a piece of cheesecloth or muslin along with the thyme and bay leaves, and tie them in securely with twine.
  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, place the chicken in it, breast side down and cook without moving it until the breast is golden brown, then turn the chicken to brown the chicken on the two thigh & leg sides, which'll take about 15 minutes. (You may need to prop the chicken against the side of the pot to hold it in place while you brown the sides.) If you have a little extra time, you can also brown the bottom.
  • Once browned, remove the chicken from the pot, place it on a plate, and add the onions to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, turnip, and salt, along with some freshly ground pepper, and cook for another minute or two, stirring frequently. Put the chicken in the pot along with the bouquet garni. Place the potatoes around the chicken, tuck the parsley sprigs in next to the chicken and add the water and stock so it covers about three-quarters of the chicken. If you need more liquid, add additional water or stock.
  • Cover and bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a steady, but gentle simmer, with the lid partially opened. Cook for about 1 hour, until the chicken is tender and cooked through, as are the vegetables. Taste for salt and add more if desired.


Serving: Garnish each serving with chopped parsley.


    • Sarah

    My mother had her own version of this dish when I was growing up. Whole chicken, mushrooms, carrots and baby reds. Everything in the roaster, plus a bottle of dry white wine and whatever fresh herbs she had around. Lid on at 350 for 1.5 hours. The chicken skin was a pasty shade of skin? But the dish was so comforting and the wine/stock was so good in pilaf the next day. Thank you for the memory!

      • Randy Francisco

      I do chicken in a pot frequently. Time and patience can create browning which makes at the chicken look a whole lot better.

    • Enda Crowe

    Thank you David for this wonderful recipe it’s just the perfect idea for a cold day in Half Moon Bay California..i have your cooking French book which i use a lot ( lived in Paris for 7 years ) and loved your book Apart

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks! Happy to hear you like the books : )

    • soozzie

    I saw a video yesterday of Kenji Lopez-Alt making ragu. He used chicken stock with gelatin added to achieve a fuller-bodied liquid. He noted that vela stock was preferred by chefs since it has a higher gelatin content, so his solution was simply to add it to the more-available chicken stock. I’m thinking that might work here, to bolster the stock a bit. Thoughts?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      That’s what Madame E. St-Ange talked about in her recipe although most home cooks likely don’t have veal stock, as she noted. I sometimes add a pig’s foot when making chicken stock which lends extra gelatin but you can certainly use some veal stock if you have it.

        • Chris Moore

        Hi David. I looked threw your recipes and didn’t see one from you about making your own stock. Do you have a recipe or make it fesh each time? After reading this recipe, I want stewed chiken and vegetables NOW!!!!

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          I don’t really use a recipe. I just put a chicken carcass or bones in a pot, cover with water, add a carrot, an onion (both coarsely cut up) and perhaps some parsley and/or thyme, and a little salt, and simmer gently for an hour or so, then I strain it. I received a multicooker a few years ago, like a crock pot, and sometimes I make it in there – it doesn’t have a huge capacity but I can cook it for hours and it draws a lot of flavor out and doesn’t require futzing with the temperature.

    • Laura

    David, this looks delicious! And perfect for the cold weather we’re having in NY. What size chicken to you recommend?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I used a standard-size chicken mentioned in the headnote before the recipe, but you could use a larger or smaller one.

        • Carolyn

        Just made this tonight after leaving the tab open in my Safari for a few weeks…AMAZING! I was expecting the usual boiled chicken with vegetables: comforting, familiar Grandma food. However, this was just so far beyond that! Was it the difference of using a bouquet garni? Or browning the chicken, or using a heritage breed… or all the above?? Whatever, my new favorite, super easy, weeknight or dinner for friends dish. Thank you

    • Dianne (Bordenave) Davis

    I laughed out loud when you said the French prefer their vegetables well cooked because I could hear Mom saying, “Dad likes his vegetables cooked to death!” Dad (né BORDENAVE) was born in Pau, France and we are distantly related to Henri IV (along the Navarre lines, if I remember correctly). When I cook vegetables, I am afraid to “cook them to death” and often under season them as there have been times I’m more heavy handed (fingered, since I’m using pinches) with salt. Having a mother and father who started me on my culinary road at age 2 with scrambled eggs and “trying” to help with the crêpes on the weekends, I love to cook and try new things. Not sure where I tripped upon your newsletter, but it instantly piqued my interest, have received it for a couple of years at least, and will have to poke around your blog when I have more time. There are certain dishes I make to keep the French traditions alive in our family: Coq au Vin, Boeuf Bourguignon, Crêpes, and Bûche de Noël among them. Thank you for helping me connect more with my dad’s side of the culinary family tree.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It was funny because last summer we were staying with friends who live in Burgundy and cooked for their family a few times. A few people were avoiding the green beans that Romain had cooked (he now likes them less-cooked than they usually are) and later one of their kids came over to us and told us people weren’t eating the green beans because they needed to be cooked more. Glad you’re enjoying my newsletter! I’m posting more stories and recipes there now.

    • Helen

    Chicken in a pot was the standard Sunday meal for my family growing up. Nothing fancy; vegetables from the garden or root cellar, an older stewing hen from the chicken coop, processed on Saturday and served with mashed potatoes or homemade noodles. Chicken would be prepared and cook while we were at church; if company was expected we would cook 2 chickens while adding more vegetables. You inspired me to prepare this meal next weekend, giving me time to source the ingredients. Thank you for the reminder of a favorite comfort meal and childhood memory.

      • Virginia H.

      Hello, David: I’d like to use some white wine in this recipe. Do you have a suggestion for how much I could substitute for some of the water? Thanks from Virginia H.

    • Richard Schinella

    Wonderful recipe David! I’ve used a similar recipe in the past that used leeks & onion stuck with cloves that were first roasted until browned, …and then added to the pot with the chicken.
    Also, in Andre Soltner’s book “Lutece” he recommended using Knorr chicken bouillon as a very reliable additive, …even as a substitute for veal broth.
    You’ve made me very hungry, so I’m going to go search my freezer for a chicken.
    Thank you for this inspiring news letter.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I was talking about the popularity of bouillon cubes with someone the other day, and their popularity in Europe, and I think maybe it’s because some have MSG in them, which is a flavor enhancer and adds umami. I know some people avoid MSG but I was doing a little reading up on it and found this article on Serious Eats about bouillon cubes talked about it a little more.

        • wildbill

        what about a dash of fish sauce to avoid the MSG? slightly different flavor but great addition from my experience.
        thanks for a terrific post

          • Balthazar B

          And it’s amazing what a single anchovy, mashed and chopped so as to dissolve completely among the other ingredients, does for adding umami to a dish. No MSG either!

        • Richard D Schinella

        Great article David.
        In our family we had a bowl of chicken soup with pastina, every night …even in the hot NY summer months. My mother said it “calmed my father down from the stresses he developed during the day”, and she was “right” because we were all anesthetized by its calming effect.
        BTW, …the main source of MSG is from sugar beets which I’ve never seen attacked due to its high MSG content.

      • Karen

      That looks so good for cool fall nights. I’m going to make it. Love your recipes!

    • Judy

    David, I absolutely love your books which I have all and often buy them for gifts. The beginning of each month your newsletter arrives…. I’m always so glad to be able to enjoy my morning with a refreshing read. Thank you so much.

    • Sally Wright

    Sounds delicious and I plan on making this…Just wondering what size chicken in the US? A roaster? Fryer?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Mine was about 1,75kg or about 4-pounds. I’m not sure of the sizes of a roaster or fryer chicken in the U.S. but that was the weight of my chicken.

        • Scott Buchanan

        Out of interest what sized casserole did you use? Thanks

    • Frank Padula

    This looks absolutely delicious. I love chicken that slides off the bone…Perfect for late fall in the Northeast.
    Wonderful presentation! I didn’t know the French liked their vegetables cooked through…Thanks for the recipe, I look forward to making this.

      • Tammy

      Thank you for this recipe David. I had this dish on my last night in Paris on vacation years ago; it was raining and I wanted “chicken soup”. One of my favorite comforting meals that I will never forget.

    • rupa sikdar

    Many years ago I had the Asian chicken rice in Singapore, since then I have been making it at home, plenty of good recipes on the web. I will definitely try your recipe, but probably eat it with bird’s eye chilis or my my home made hot sauce. Rupa

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      There’s a Singaporean dish they make at The Hood in Paris, Chicken Rice Lah, that’s one of my favorites!

    • Lisa

    Amazing! Currently our little Portuguese kitchen has only a stovetop so t his is perfect timing. What size dutch oven do you use typically? thank you!

    • Linda Ravden

    Divine recipe – thank you! Perfect for cooler fall nights in Socal. I much prefer BTB to bouillon cubes. It has better flavor and really kicks up the flavor of soups and stews a notch or three. As for the trend here of serving rock hard vegetables-it is ridiculous as you cannot appreciate the taste or texture of the vegetable at all. Whose silly idea was this I wonder….?!?!?!?

    • Nancy

    David, my recollection of chicken in Europe is that it is soooo much tastier than U.S. chickens. But I will try to get a really good one for this recipe.
    My stovetop is a bit fiddly so I’d prefer to cook in the oven. Do you have advice as to how long in the oven at what temp?

      • Roxann Dorweiler

      My Grandmother used to prepare this in the pressure cooker with a fresh home grown chicken. Lots of veggies and she made gravy with the liquid. It was served with her mashed potatoes.
      She also, on occasion made homemade taffy in winter. My Dad put up up hook on a wooden board in the kitchen taffy cooked, cooled on large sheet pans and then it was “thrown” over this hook continuously until it turned pale and creamy beige. Then pulled into long pieces which were then cut into serving size and wrapped in waxed paper twists. Guaranteed to lose a filling someplace along the way

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve not cooked it in the oven but you want the liquid to be lightly simmering and the chicken is done when the legs/thighs pull way from the carcass relatively easily and the vegetables are tender when poked with a sharp paring knife.

      • JanetM

      I just made a similar recipe from Nigella Lawson’s website last week – David I love you too don’t worry ;-) She bakes it in the oven at 180/350 for about 2 hours. The last 1/2 hour she adds orzo. I have to say this was such a simple delicious, minimal fuss meal.

      I will try this version as well as I think the potatoes are a nice addition.

        • David
        David Lebovitz

        I’ve made that recipe (the pic looks good!) and while I love Nigella (too!), next time I would add a few tweaks.

    • Richard D Schinella

    related to your comment re the French favoring beef over chicken (and possibly veal?). In my understanding, the reason for this is that in many European countries there isn’t enough grazing land to fatten & mature steers, so ranchers tend to harvest calves shortly after they stop being milk-fed. Since the wear & tear on the cow (the mother) is significant and uses up to 2 years of her life, …continuously being fed by the rancher, the price of veal needs to be higher than the price of full grown & fattened beef.

    Several years ago I purchased a calf here in MT (where I live) and was astounded by the high price that I was charged. The rancher gave me the explanation that I have given above.
    So, while I can buy NY strip steak for $6/lb …veal is unavailable.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for that insight. I often thought that it was because chicken was ‘common’ as they were easier to raise, and less expensive than beef, so beef was considered more “choice” than chicken and something more special. (Also in France, people are into things for la santé, or for health, and beef is considered a high-protein and high in iron source, like horsemeat is…or used to be!) Veal is easy to get in France but I think you’re right that the price is quite a bit higher than beef.

    • Paul Huckett

    Extraordinary that I bought a free range chicken at our local farmers’ market yesterday in our part of rural Australia . Then open my emails this Monday morning to find your recipe . I was thinking of a poached chicken to be eaten cold during the week . Now it will be Poulet au Pot for dinner tonight . You are quite right David in three meals for two . I do a chicken once a week in various ways for a main meal and we eat chicken rolls or sandwiches for lunch the following day . Then maybe a mushroom risotto with shredded chicken , or an Asian-style soup . I always keep the carcass too , freeze them until I have four, and make my own chicken stock with a veal shin bone added for a bit more gelatinous feel to the stock . I get such inspiration reading your books and reading your newsy emails . Thank you David

      • Kaaren Slawson

      We have the same chicken routine here on a wooded island off Washington state, except that I have a bag of chicken feet in the freezer to use instead of the veal shin bone. A small world…

        • Paul Huckett

        Chicken feet, a great idea for the stock. . I have cooked the feet in the sticky black bean sauce that’s very popular in Cantonese-style Chinese restaurants . My dad loved them . I took Dad out for a Fathers Day Lunch the very last time he was able to leave his aged care facility . He ordered sticky chicken feet as part of a yum cha meal . It’s a lovely memory of Dad . He was 9 1 that year but sadly passed the following year , very peacefully thankfully

    • Patricia

    In my house when I was a kid my mother made chicken every Sunday. She breaded the chicken pieces and put the pieces close together in a pyrex dish. Every piece of chicken got an extra dab of butter on top. Can you imagine that when these days people often choose white over dark chicken and certainly without the skin. The chicken was flooded in buttery chicken juices and of course we always ate the crispy skin like savages. God forbid if you looked away for a minute someone would snatch that piece of crispy skin right off your plate! I’m saving this recipe for next Sunday’s dinner. Do you have a preference for Staub over Le Creuset? I’m going to order a new pot and I see you’re using a Staub.

      • Scott Buchanan

      Staub Vs Le Creuset…. years ago Le Creuset seemed to have a complete monopoly on everything cast iron from magazines to cookbooks to life style advertising. Interestingly I can’t remember the last time I saw LC in a cookbook. It’s now all Staub. I know that large numbers of people are put off by LC’s pretty horrific pricing even in the sales. A family sized casserole is $400! Then again Staub ain’t that far behind so go figure.

        • martinn key2paris

        I’d say Staub is more professional. I have 2 Staubs: a very large oval black, and a smaller orange one looking like a pumpkin. So “cute” that I can put it on the table when I cook daubes or similar recipes. It’s going to be in use for Thanksgiving in a few days. I gave a Staub to each of my gourmet family members. I love the “picots” in the lid that help steam to go back into the pot.

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          Scott: The Staub pot I used here is listed under the lid as “14 1/2-inches, 37cm”). One of the reasons Le Creuset pots cost what they do is because they are made in France where labor costs are a lot higher than elsewhere. (I wrote about cookware made in China in my newsletter a few months ago.) I visited the factory in France and it takes 11 hours to make a pot, and the process is pretty rigorous, hence the price. There are some enameled cast iron pots that cost less don’t hold up well, although the Lodge ones are made in China and cost quite a bit less, but get good reviews.

    • Melissa Lesage

    David, I read your post about Jeanne. What happened to her?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      She got older and retired.

    • Happybaker

    So funny – I just made chicken in a pot today! (Crock pot version, though)

    I guess tis the season… A perfect, easy, tasty meal. With a small chicken my husband and I will get two meals each and we’ll give two meals to a neighbor. With fresh bread. It may not be sophisticated but it is a tasty, comforting handy dish!

    • Julie

    Hello David, I was so excited to read this post. My late Austrian grandmother, who lived and worked with chefs in France for a time in the 1920’s, used to make a two course meal very similar to this. It was, and still is, my favourite meal. I never really knew of it’s origin, she just used to say it’s French. She would lightly boil the chicken with stock, onions, big chunks of carrots and celery for an hour. She would then prepare rice and make a sauce that was a cross between a bechamel and a veloute (using milk and the chicken stock), along with cheese and nutmeg. This sauce would be served over the poached chicken, rice and carrots as one meal. So amazingly delicious. This is perhaps the white sauce you referred to. Then she would cook small shell pasta in the the stock, and this would be the soup we enjoyed the next night, with lots of lemon. I make these courses now for my own family, and it’s one of their favourite meals now too!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for sharing those memories. Yes, it’s unclear what the actual white sauce is, or was, be it mayonnaise or Béarnaise (or one like you describe) but I think it’s one of those dishes where there is no “one way” to do it. And yes, people do wonderful things with the leftovers, as your grandmother did.

    • Martinn Key2paris

    What a coincidence. Between the Louvre and Bourse de Commerce Fondation Pinault on Friday, I had lunch at La Poule au Pot Jean François Piège just behind the Bourse, next to Jardin des Halles. Was delicious, served with a caillette first in a beautiful silverware. Photos on my Facebook page. Yours seems inviting and tasty as well. During Winter season, all these cooking in a pot recipes are so welcome ( Blanquette, Pot -au-feu) Merci, Thanks for this recipe.

    • Robert Stuart

    When the skin is, as here, partially browned, or, as in other similar dishes, completely pale and rubbery, do the French eat it, or remove it and set it to the side?

      • Martinn Key2paris

      Some French will savor the skin like me, but some for low fat diet will discard it.
      You can also use skin and bones to make a broth.

    • Susan Riggs

    This sounds so delicious, and easy! Although you make everything sound delicious and easy. But I am going to try this one for sure.
    Merci beaucoup for the inspiration!

    • Victoria

    Recently I was trying to think of a different way that I’d never tried before to roast an organic chicken and remembered Marcella Hazan’s lemon chicken. It’s a very easy recipe plus the broth is amazing. Simply salt and pepper the chicken inside and out (no oil), put two punctured lemons (about 20x’s each) in the cavity, truss the end loosely, and roast breast side down uncovered for about 1.5 hours turning the bird every 30 minutes, raising the temperature the last 30. If you try it you’ll see why it’s one of her fave all time recipes. The next time I make, I’ll add vegetables, thanks for the suggestions David!

    • Katie Stuber

    Excuse me for sounding pathetic; I’m a pretty clueless cook, but think I could manage this without doing too much damage! My question: you say initially to put the chicken in the pot breast-side down and brown it without moving it. If you don’t move it a little to peek at the skin, how do you know when it’s brown?

    • Patricia

    You’re not pathetic at all. We’re not born as good cooks but you have the desire. He means that once you put the chicken, breast down, you don’t keep poking at it while it is browning. I would guess it could take about 5 minutes. After five minutes, have a look and see if it is at a colour that you like, if not, let it cook a little longer. Then lay it on one side and let it stay there to get some colour and then again on the other side. That’s all it is. And now you will know what that means. I’m sure you can do this!

    • DEBORAH Lang

    Hello David,
    I recently saw Pepin make this (via you tube) and he poached the whole chicken first to make the broth–then removed it and cooked the veg, adding the chicken back in later.
    I prefer your browning method–and it is very nice to see the Young! Pepin methods as well.
    Good luck with the house hunting btw!

    • Philippe

    My grand-mother would always stuff her Poule au Pot with “Chair a Saucisse”… Maybe a regional variation? (from Montpellier)

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Perhaps it is. I’ve seen versions with stuffing and others without. I would think the stuffing might make the bouillion cloudly?

    • Monishapiro

    The pic of chicken reminds me of my family trip to Dorgdone about 3 yrs ago. We were staying at an Airbnb so I was able to make my usual Sunday night roasted chicken. I bought the most expensive chicken at the local market but when I unpackaged the chicken, I was disappointed how ‘skinny’ the bird was. It had the skinniest drumaticks with almost no meat on them, like the one you bought in the picture. Thank goodness i had a large bag of potatoes to roast with the chicken otherwise it would have been very hungry that night.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I recall one Thanksgiving many years ago when there were guests from the US and they saw the whole turkey which we’d gone to great lengths to purchase in France. They remarked how scrawny it was and laughed, but in all honesty, the birds here (imho) taste better than some of the pumped up ones in the US. They also release a lot of gelatin which makes for a better broth (also imho!)

        • Marsha

        The last Thanksgiving turkey I cooked in the US in 2015 was a “heritage” bird I got from one of the organic vendors at our farmers’ market in Maryland. It was always a struggle to find a smaller, whole bird that would fit in our 30″ wall oven. We decided to splurge, as it would be our last American Thanksgiving prior to moving. As I recall, it was around 8 pounds and cost a fortune, but was perfect. It was so flavourful and made a wonderful stock.

    • martinn key2paris

    Enjoy a gourmet Thanksgiving. All these comments about the turkey size are fun. But far from being a “poule au pot” As I do not like Turkey – too dry and tasteless most of the time, I will roast 3 guinea fowl but once again far from the Poule au pot :-) After Thanksgiving I am eager to cook a real Poule au Pot like the one I enjoyed at Jean François Piège behind the Bourse de Commerce- Fondation Pinault on rue du Louvre, les Halles. or David’s recipe.

    • Stephen

    Hello David! Do you think that the Poule au pot method would work for a single cornish hen? What changes might you make if trying that?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Since they’re smaller they may cook quicker so you could start cooking the vegetables a little before adding the hen.

    • Susan Brower

    Hi David. I moved here recently, and am having difficulty finding a fresh chicken that doesn’t cost much more than the plethora of pre-cooked rotisserie chickens in my area (haute Marais near 2nd and 10th). But I’d love to cook Poule au pot as well as other chicken dishes. Can you recommend where to buy a good chicken — a market? Monoprix? … Thanks, Susan

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I bought the chicken shown in the post, which is a free-range chicken at my local Marché U supermarket and it cost €8,40 (the label is still attached). You can buy a standard chicken for a little less but I like the get the free-range chickens which don’t cost that much more.

        • Susan

        Thanks. I, too, prefer free-range chickens; definitely worth it… Ok, I will try again today!

    • martinn key2paris

    why not buy your chicken at a butcheer ? Fresh products are always better and guaranteed origin at you small local suppliers. Fish at the fishmonger, cheese and dairies at the cheese monger, all meat at the butcher, fruits and vegetables at the Primeurs/ produce. We are so lucky here to still have these suppliers rather than only supermarkets, we should encourage them. Most food scandals are coming from industrial suppliers and that includes supermarkets. Local shops are more respectful of their customers.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I shop at Terroirs d’Avenir (and Biocoop) regularly but when publishing recipes, I often use grocery store ingredients when testing and presenting recipes so they can be accessible to everyone since not everyone is fortunate to have a shop like Terroirs d’Avenir near them, as I am. At my local market, most of the meats, vegetables, and other things come from the central market outside of Paris, Rungis, but it’s a good idea to find vendors in your area who provide locally-raised meats and poultry, as well as fruits and vegetable if possible. There’s a list of other places to buy local produce in Paris here and another here.

        • Susan

        Thank you for this info and links, David!

    • martinn key2paris

    before David answers your question, I would say here the same answer I wrote in another comment: your small shop, local butcher will always be better than a chain supermarket. Maybe you’ll pay a bit more BUT origin guaranteed, you support a local business. Eat meat less often but when you do, buy a quality one. I don’t think we can find high end stuff for the price of not quality one. Food or not food.

    • martinn key2paris

    David I could not agree more. I also shop at Terroirs as you know but they are not everywhere and they are not cheap. Now there are always private little shops nearby and I think they are better and more reliable than supermarkets. I avoid supermarkets as much as possible :-)

    • Susan

    Thanks, all. I, too prefer to buy free-range, healthily fed chickens from a butcher. I will try again today so that I can make the Poule au pot this weekend. (I realized later that my question may have been confusing; I was saying that the pre-cooked rotisserie chickens, which aren’t cheap, seem to cost LESS than the fresh, raw chickens. I will take another look!)

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yes I agree and don’t know why the standard (non free-range) rotisserie chickens cost less than the standard chickens at the supermarket or butcher shop. My local butcher has three types of roast chickens; standard, Label Rouge, and fermier, with the latter being the most expensive. The Label Rouge ones cost €10 each, so I get those.

    • Susan

    I ended up going to my local Biocoop this morning for the ingredients (which was a pleasure because I hadn’t been to a Biocoop yet), and since the weather was so unpleasant and they said that they had gotten the fresh chicken in this morning, I sprang for the poulet jaune which has a few organic pedigrees on the label (as well as being free range), and paid 20,40 euros for a 1.5kg chicken! Ah, well, I’ll have to keep looking for a better price (and will look for Label Rouge) but in the meantime I’m happy to make this ‘Penicillan Juif Francais” for my husband who has been suffering from a very bad cold!

    • martinn key2paris

    ‘Penicillan Juif Francais”. I did not know this expression :-)
    I call it food for the soul.
    As for spending more on a chicken but buying a good quality one, I y-think it is worth the money. Less meat but better one. Bon Appétit and I hoipe it helped your husband.

      • Susan

      Dear Martinn, I’m from the U.S. where homemade chicken soup is often referred to as “Jewish Penicillin” because of its purported medicinal qualities as well as the fact that chicken soup is a staple in Jewish homes. So I was making a joke that this is Jewish Penicillin-the French way ;-). And it is most definitely food for the soul! And thank you, I do believe it helped my husband!

        • martinn key2paris

        Thanks Susan for answering. I have lived in the USA but this was the first time it read about the expression. I had to google it. Thanks for the educational reply. Latkes and apple sauce also are some “Jewish Penicillin” these days. Enjoy the season. Are you a Parisian now ? Living next to a Terroirs shop ?

          • Susan Brower

          Hi Martinn, I have been here in Paris for 2 months and will be here for 8 more! I am so grateful to have this time here! The terroir is not next door but nearby, as are so many places in the Haute Marais where I live. ;-)

    • Susan

    Well, I made the best pot of chicken soup ever, and that includes the many times I’ve made my Jewish mother’s recipe, which admittedly, is much simpler (chicken, onions, carrots, celery, turnip, salt pepper). David, thank you for your excellent recipe! I so appreciate the very clear instructions and beautiful photos. Delicious! And if this doesn’t cure my husband’s cold, nothing will! ;-)

    • Susan

    Thank you for this info and links, David!

    • Adam

    Thanks so much for sharing this delicious and very simple to make dish. I am very grateful for your recipe and have always enjoyed making your dishes for some time now.

    • martinn key2paris

    hi Susan, i,often visit Marais and Haut Marais and I live in the Montorgueil area quite close. I’d be happy to meet you in January 2022 if you’d like and share Paris, and Parisian life. For the time being enjoy the season. Bonnes fêtes et bonne année.

    • Dan Harper

    At first I thought, “what’s the big deal” but I enjoy trying new recipes so I tried it. I love this recipe and the techniques…the golden broth and the wonderful flavor! It’s my go to now. Thanks for sharing with us.


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