Chicken Pot-au-Feu


This classic French recipe calls for poussins, which are very small young chickens and produce tender meat.


  • 4 poussins (about 1 pound each), necks removed

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 16 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 20 ounces pearl onions

  • 3 quarts homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock

  • 2 cups dry white wine

  • 1 pound baby or halved small carrots, peeled, tops trimmed

  • 12 ounces baby red potatoes (halved if large)

  • 3 celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces

  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 10 black peppercorns

  • Fresh chervil, for garnish


  1. Rinse poussins; pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Place 4 thyme sprigs into each cavity. Carefully tie legs together with kitchen twine. Set aside.

  2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add onions, and cook until skins soften, about 3 minutes. Remove onions with a slotted spoon, and rinse. Trim root ends, and remove skins.

  3. Stir together stock, wine, onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, garlic, peppercorns, and 2 teaspoons salt in a large, heavy stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Gently add poussins, breast side down. Cover, and cook 1 hour. Place a poussin in each of 4 serving bowls; divide broth and vegetables evenly among the bowls. Garnish each bowl with chervil, and sprinkle with pepper.

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