Spring chicken and egg in red wine
For something different, I like to poach chicken and here is a variation on a classic French dish using red wine and a poached egg. It's worth spending a bit more money and buying free range or organic chook and eggs for greater flavour and texture.
Photo: Marco Del Grande
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- 1 litre fresh chicken stock
- 1.75 litres red wine
- 1 head garlic (cut in half)
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- Sea salt
- 1 chicken about 1.2kg
- 4 eggs (cracked into 4 bowls)
- 500ml water
- 30ml red wine vinegar
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 eschalots (peeled and chopped)
- 200ml fresh beef stock
- 50g unsalted butter
- 150g English spinach (washed and drained)
- Freshly ground white pepper
Place chicken stock, one litre of red wine, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and two large pinches of salt in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the chicken, trussed, breast down and bring back to the boil then lower the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and leave it to finish cooking for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from the liquor and leave it to rest in a warm place covered with foil for 15 minutes.
To poach the eggs
Prepare a bowl of iced water and put to one side. In a small saucepan, bring 500ml of water, 500ml of red wine and the vinegar to boil. Using a slotted spoon, stir the liquid in the centre of the saucepan to create a whirlpool effect. Drop in an egg (the whirlpool will form its shape), lower heat and cook for 3 minutes. Remove egg gently using slotted spoon and place in iced water to stop cooking. Repeat the process with remaining eggs. Retain liquor to reheat the eggs.
In another saucepan, make the sauce by simmering the remaining red wine, thyme and eschalots down to a syrup. Add the beef stock and reduce to a sauce. Pass through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan and check seasoning.
Remove the legs and breast from the chicken. Heat a frying pan, add butter and quickly saute the spinach. Season and drain. Re-boil the sauce and re-boil the egg poaching liquor before reheating the eggs for one minute. Place spinach to the side of 4 warm plates. Place egg on top of spinach. Cut the chicken breast and legs in half and serve one piece of leg (thigh or drumstick) and one piece of breast per person. Season eggs, drizzle meat with sauce, slit eggs and serve quickly.