Henri IV of France wanted all households in his kingdom to be able to relish in this great dish every Sunday… There are lots of variations on this recipe, I imagine stemming from whatever products were available locally. This one uses the best Normandy has to offer – chicken (or traditionally, hen) leeks, carrots, turnips and, bien sûr, crème fraîche.
Ingredients Serves 4 – 6
1 large chicken
2 onions, studded with cloves
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
3 leeks, chopped and thoroughly washed (usually full of sand!!)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
3 turnips, peeled
2 sticks of Celery, cut into long batons
Bouquet garni – Bay leaves, parsley, thyme etc…
Salt and pepper
Tub of crème fraîche
Place broiler/chicken in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add onions, garlic and bouquet garni. Season well. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours (1 hour for chicken).
Serve the meat from the broiler (minus the skin) on a large platter surrounded with vegetables. Pour the crème fraîche into a sauceboat and place all in the centre of the table. Basmati rice is great with this one.
(The remaining stock may be used for soups, risottos etc. )