Chicken Matelote

Marguerite Patten adds a little pizzazz to a classic poultry dish in this easy to make but delicious recipe
By Sophie Grigson
Chicken Matelote
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 16 onions, pickling
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled
  • 100 g butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 250 ml beef stock, or chicken stock
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 small sprig thyme
  • 1 handfuls leaves basil
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 large chicken, or guinea fowl, jointed
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tbsp capers


1. Top and tail the onions, then blanch them for 7 minutes in boiling salted water. Run them under the cold tap and remove their skins.

2. Cut the carrots and parsnip into large matchstick strips.

3. Heat half the butter in a large casserole, until golden brown, and then stir in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add the wine and stock, the onions and root vegetables, garlic, herbs, spring onion and spices. Cover and simmer for half an hour.

4. Meanwhile, brown the chicken or guinea fowl pieces in the remaining butter. Add to the sauce and simmer for 30 minutes or longer until the chicken is done, turning the pieces occasionally and removing the breast pieces before they overcook.

5. Put the chicken on a hot serving plate with the onions and vegetable strips and keep warm.

6. Skim the sauce, which should be well reduced (if not, increase the heat and cook for 5 minutes or so longer).

7. Crush together 4 of the anchovy fillets with the capers and add them to the sauce. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Taste the sauce and add the remaining anchovy fillets if you like, crushing them first. Season to taste and serve.

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