Poached Chicken and Hazelnut Salad

A light and sweet yet wholesome salad with succulent and moist poached chicken

Recipes Claire Aldous and Sarah Heeringa. Photography Amanda Reelick. Styling Sarah Heeringa and Natalie Cyra

800g poached chicken, removed from the bone 
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, quartered
1 tsp sea salt


1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp honey
1 red apple, sliced thinly 
11/2 cups red grapes or dried cranberries
1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted, skinned and roughly chopped
2 large handfuls fresh baby rocket
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Chicken: Put the chicken in a large saucepan with the bay leaf, onion and salt and place a small plate on top to keep the chicken submerged. Add enough cold water to cover the chicken and poach (see right). The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken. 

Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.

Salad: Soak the onion in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry in a clean tea towel. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a large bowl and season. Add the apple and toss gently but thoroughly to coat in the dressing. This stops the apple from turning brown.

Shred the cooked chicken into long strips. Add to the dressing along with the remaining ingredients, toss well and transfer to a serving platter.

Quick guide to poaching

Poaching is a method of cooking food by completely covering it in simmering liquid (the surface of the liquid should not break). Foods that can be poached include apples and pears, beef, chicken, duck, dried fruits, eggs, figs, fish, quinces, stone fruits and vegetables such as leeks, carrots and globe artichokes. 

Poaching chicken will give moist, succulent results and can be done either in the oven at a very low temperature, or on the stove using a large, heavy-based pot with a lid. Alternatively, use a slow cooker. 

To poach a chicken submerge it fully in water, add bay leaves, vegetable scraps (such as silverbeet and cauliflower stalks) and 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Bring
to a simmer and cook for at least 20–30 minutes until tender.  

Save the poaching liquid and once cooled, you can freeze it to use later as a nutritious and flavoursome stock.

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