1. All-in-one chicken and veggies
In a large pot with a lid, combine 1½ tbsp olive oil with a large knob of butter over a medium heat until the butter has melted. Add 400g sliced carrots, 3 chopped celery stalks and 1 sliced onion. Cook for 10 minutes until soft. Season 4 chicken fillets with salt and black pepper and add to the pan, snuggling the fillets down amongst the vegetables. Add 350ml white wine and enough chicken stock to just cover the chicken and vegetables. Add 3 sprigs each of fresh thyme and parsley. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked throughout. When ready, slice the chicken fillets and serve with the vegetables and some mashed potato or rice.
2. Poached white wine salmon
Drizzle 4 salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Pour 500ml white wine into a large pan and add water until the liquid reaches a depth of about 15cm. Add 2 halved lemons and 2 crushed garlic cloves. Bring to a gentle simmer, then add the salmon and allow to cook for 7-8 minutes until cooked to your liking. Serve with lemon wedges and chopped fresh parsley.
3. Poached whole chicken
Place 1 whole chicken in a large pot. Add 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery stalks, 1 tbsp whole peppercorns, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf and 2 sprigs of fresh sage. Cover the chicken with water and add ½ tbsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, transfer to a chopping board and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Pull off all the meat and use in recipes for the next few days.
4. Red wine poached peaches
In a saucepan, combine 720ml wine, 180g sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole cloves, 3 whole black peppercorns and 2 strips of lemon zest. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook over a medium-high heat until syrupy. Add 2 halved and pitted peaches and cook gently for five minutes, turning occasionally in the syrup, until tender. Put the peach halves into serving bowls and top with good quality vanilla ice cream and some of the poaching syrup.
5. Tomato-poached eggs
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped onion and cook for 5-6 minutes until translucent. Add 1 deseeded and chopped red pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves, ½ tsp harissa paste, 1 tsp ground cumin and ½ tsp smoked paprika. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes, then half-fill the tin with water and add this to the pan as well. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Cook over a medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes until thick. Reduce the heat to low and make four wells in the sauce with the back of a spoon. Carefully crack 4 eggs into the wells. Cover the pan with a lid and gently poach the eggs for about five minutes or until cooked to your liking. Serve hot with pittas or flatbreads.
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