Chicken Pilaff

Serves 6


  • 1 large chicken, about 2.5 kg (5 ½ lb)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and halved
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • Large sprig of parsley
  • Large sprig of thyme
  • 750ml (1 ¼ pints) chicken stock
  • 250ml (8fl oz) white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250ml (8fl oz) single cream
  • 2-3 tbsp Roux


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F), Gas mark 3. Remove any giblets from the chicken carcass and place the chicken in a large saucepan or casserole. Add the carrot, onion, peppercorns, herbs, stock and white wine and bring up to the boil. Season with salt and pepper, cover with the lid and place in the preheated oven to cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until the chicken is completely cooked. I test this by pulling the leg – if it feels as though it will come away from the carcass easily and the juices run clear when pierced, then it is ready. (For a larger chicken, cook for 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 30 minutes).
  2. Remove the chicken from the stock and place it on a large plate. Remove all the meat from the carcass, discarding the skin and bones. Cut the chicken into strips approximately 1cm (1/2 in) wide and 5cm (2in) long. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Remove the vegetables, peppercorns and herbs from the liquid and discard. Add the cream, bring up to the boil and boil uncovered for a few minutes. If the flavour is a little weak, boil for longer, then season to taste. While still boiling, whisk in the roux – you need enough to thicken it so it just about coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Place the chicken and any juices back in the casserole, once again correcting the seasoning and keep warm until needed. Serve with Pilaff Rice, mashed potatoes or boiled new potatoes and the Green Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing.