Chicken with spring vegetables and wheat by Julia Ostro

Posted on November 13 2016

This broth is a wonderful celebration of Spring, and together with the beautiful broad beans, peas and nutty wheat grain, it is a lovely way to eat the Milking Yard Chicken thighs. Feel free to substitute the wheat for other grains such as spelt, buckwheat or farro. Similarly, use whichever vegetables are in season, just be sure to keep an eye on cooking times. I make my chicken stock with Milking Yard chicken bits and pieces which gives this broth the most fragrant base – it really is worth the effort to make the stock from scratch.

SERVES 4

200g wheat
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped

1 stick of celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1L chicken broth or water
500g Milking Yard Farm Chicken thighs 100g freshly podded peas
150g double podded broad beans

Salsa verde

1 clove of garlic
Large handful each of mint and parsley Juice of half a lemon
Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Cook the wheat in a pot of boiling water until al dente (approximately 20 minutes). Drain and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot over a low flame. Add the leek and celery and gently fry until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a further minute.

  3. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the chicken into

    the broth. Poach until just cooked (approximately 12 minutes) and remove from the broth to

    cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, shred into large pieces.

  4. For the salsa verde, chop the garlic and the herbs together until fine. Transfer the herbs and

    garlic to a small bowl, squeeze in the lemon juice and drizzle in enough olive oil to give the

    sauce a pourable consistency. Set aside.

  5. Add the wheat to the simmering broth and cook for a further 5 minutes to absorb some of the

    broth. Return the chicken to the broth and add the peas and broad beans. Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the peas and broad beans are just cooked. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

  6. Serve immediately topped with spoonfuls of the salsa verde.

Chicken Stock

Chicken stock is one of those staples that you will find in most cupboards, fridges or freezers! Whist it is tempting to buy pre packaged varieties, stock made from scratch is second to none, and imparts the most wonderful depth of flavour into your meals. It takes not much effort, and whilst it requires some time simmering on the stove, it is rather low maintenance. I don’t season my stock whilst it’s cooking, and choose to wait til I’ve incorporated into whichever dish I’m cooking, so I can season appropriately.

MAKES APPROXIMATELY 3 L

2 chicken frames
4 chicken wings
1 onion, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
1 stick of celery
3 cloves garlic, peeled 1 ripe tomato, quartered 1 bay leaf

3 sprigs thyme

  1. Place all ingredients in a large pot and cover with enough water to come up to around 5cm above all of the ingredients.

  2. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer with the lid half on. Skim any scum that rises to the surface, especially in the first 30 minutes.

  3. Simmer on a low heat for 3 hours, topping up with water if necessary.

  4. Drain stock into a container and refrigerate overnight. You can either discard the chicken and

    vegetable contents from the stock, or if there is plenty of meat on the frames, pick the meat off

    and use for another use.

  5. Skim any fat that has risen to the surface after it has been refrigerated. The stock is now ready

    to use and will keep for three days in the fridge and much longer in the freezer. 

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