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poule au pot - chicken and vegetables in a chicken stock with fresh dill

La Poule au Pot - the easiest way to cook a whole chicken

  • Author: lechefswife
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 1h35
  • Total Time: 1h45
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Method: french
  • Cuisine: french


La Poule au Pot is a fancy French chicken soup! Juicy, tender chicken meat that falls off the bone in a delicious, savory broth with big chunks of root vegetables. Delicious and healthy.

This recipe features Le Chef Sébastien's secret ingredients for making an amazing chicken broth. One of the healthiest recipes you will ever make and a French grandmother's cure all for all ailments!



Ingredients for La Poule au Pot

For the Stock:

  • 1 Whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds). The highest quality you can find (like the Green Circle Chicken from D'Artagnan) If you are buying the chicken from a butcher ask them to clean out the insides. If you buy yours in the grocery store make sure to remove the giblets sack and the neck from the inside.
  • 3 cloves of garlic - peeled with a little knife incision to release the flavors
  • 1 large whole white onion, quartered (or several small onions)
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut in large chunks (the size of the piece does not matter - this is to make the broth and will be discarded)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and in left large chunks
  • 1 star anise seed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsb of salt

For the Garnish:

  • 4 large carrots, cut into large pieces
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and left whole  with the dark green fans removed
  • 8 nugget Potatoes, peeled and left whole
  • Fresh dill to garnish


  1. Drizzle olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, onions, rosemary, thyme, carrot and celery.
  3. Sautée until the onions begin to soften (about 5 minutes) being careful not to let the ingredients burn. Lower the heat if the pot gets too hot.
  4. Deglaze your pot with 4 cups of water.
  5. Gently set the chicken into the pot.* you don't need to brown the chicken for this recipe - you want the fat to be released into the broth directly*
  6. Add enough water to cover the chicken.
  7. Add the star anise, salt & bay leaves.
  8. Bring the soup to a simmer and then bring down the heat to medium low - you want a soft boil.
  9. Cover the pot 3/4 of the way, leaving space for the steam to escape. 
  10. 30 minutes into the cooking time, using a pair of kitchen tongs, turn the chicken over in the broth. Add more water so that the chicken is fully submerged.
  11. After 45 minutes more - remove the chicken and place on a cutting board to cool. (Total cooking time for the chicken is 1h15 minutes. If you are starting with a chicken that is not fully defrosted up the cooking time to 1h30 or 1h45 until the meat comes easily off the leg bone and the thigh juices run clear when pierced with a fork)
  12. Strain the broth. This is not necessary ,but it makes for a more esthetically pleasing soup broth that is clear and vibrant. Strain the broth and your soup will look like restaurant food. Placing a big pot or bowl under your strainer (I use this Chinoise) pour the broth through the strainer, being careful not to burn yourself.  You will be left with just a clear broth. I recommend doing this operation in the sink to avoid messes!
  13. Pour the clear broth back into your stock pot and set back on the stove.
  14. Bring back to a simmer on medium low heat.
  15. Add the Garnish items: nugget potatoes, carrots, celery & leeks. Optional: Turnips, Parsnips and Fennel would also make great additions at this stage!
  16. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft (try piercing with a fork). Then turn off the heat.
  17. Poule au Pot is best served in shallow bowls.
  18. Carve the chicken into portions.
  19. Plate (culinary term meaning to assemble) each bowl with a portion of chicken and one of each whole vegetable. Ladle the broth generously over the top. You can chose to leave the breasts whole or slice them and divide between the bowls.
  20. Finely chop the fresh dill and sprinkle over the top of the bowl.

The dill complements beautifully the star anise seed you used to make the broth.

Sprinkle with a little fleur de sel to finish if you so wish.

Serve with a knife, fork and spoon.

I dare you to find a healthier, more satisfying meal on a winter's day.

Bon Appétit!


Le Chef Sébastien Giannini's secret ingredients:

  • Star Anise - if you don't have star anise seed stocked in your pantry - please do yourself a favor and get some! The star shaped seed adds a delicious tanginess to a broth that is unmistakable to a trained palette. Délicieux!
  • Fresh Dill - a complementary flavor to the star anise, fresh dill elevates chicken broth and marries beautifully with the flavors of La Poule au Pot.

Other Soup Recipes you will enjoy from Le Chef's Wife Kitchen:

Potage aux Légumes

Magical Leek Soup

French Onion Soup Gratinée

French Lentil Soup

Keywords: poule au pot, whole chicken, chicken soup, french cooking