Braised baby chicken with vegetable minestrone

Tom Kerridges chicken and pancetta broth is topped with a dollop of home-made pesto
Braised baby chicken with vegetable minestrone
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the chicken and broth

  • 250 g butter
  • 2 onions, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 200 g pancetta, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 6 sticks celery, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 1/4 celeriac, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 2 large carrots, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 1 bouquet garni, (rosemary, thyme and a few peppercorns)
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 poussins
  • 850 ml chicken stock
  • 30 g risotto rice
  • 3 courgettes, just the green skin, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 3 yellow courgettes, just the yellow skin, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • basil, cress or young basil shoots, to serve

For the pesto

  • 4 bunches basil
  • 60 g parmesan
  • 60 g pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 400-500 ml olive oil


1. For the chicken and broth: preheat the oven to 120C/gas ½. Heat 100g of the butter in a large casserole and fry the onions, pancetta, celery, celeriac, carrots, bouquet garni and garlic until the vegetables are softened, but not browned.

2. Heat the remaining butter in a separate pan and fry the chicken until browned on all sides (you may need to do this in batches if the pan isnt large enough). Add the browned chicken to the vegetables and pancetta.

3. Pour over the chicken stock and add the rice. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and place in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through test it by piercing the thickest part with a knife or skewer and, if the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked.

4. Remove from the oven, add the chopped courgettes to the pan, put the lid back on and set aside to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.

5. Remove the chickens from the broth, keeping them warm. Pour the stock through a sieve into a clean pan, setting aside the rice and vegetables, and simmer the liquid until thickened to a sauce consistency. Meanwhile, make the pesto.

6. For the pesto: blanch the basil by adding it to a pan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice cold water. Drain well.

7. Place the blanched basil, parmesan, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and blend, gradually adding enough olive oil to make a paste consistency. Any pesto that you dont use in this recipe can be frozen in ice cube trays, which make handy portions.

6. Serve the chicken topped with the vegetables, covered in the sauce and garnished with pesto and basil cress or young basil shoots.

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