Chicken and Coriander Broth

I was clearing out my fridge a few weeks ago and came across a selection of root vegetables lurking there, waiting to be turned into something tasty. The first thing that came to my mind was soup, and since we were in the middle of winter I was thinking along the lines of a chunky, meaty broth. I decided on Chicken, which would provide my soup with both the chunky meat component and the stock. A bunch of fresh coriander which also happened to be in my fridge could be involved here in some way, I thought. I remembered a Madhur Jaffrey recipe for coriander chicken curry, involving large quantities of fresh coriander, resulting in a vibrant green curry sauce. It was fantastic, and so I reckoned it could work in my soup too. The earthiness of all those root vegetables would be balanced by the fresh zing of the coriander, perhaps. I prepared the chicken in my usual way; removed the breasts, then cut up the remaining carcass into small pieces and fried until nicely caramelised for the stock. This time I actually chopped up the wings and legs too and added them to the stock for extra flavour. Once the stock was almost ready, after an hour or so, I took some out to gently poach the breast meat in a separate pan. Once perfectly barely cooked, I allowed them to cool before carefully cutting them into dice. All the vegetables and chicken diced to the same size, making for an attractive looking bowl of broth.


  • 1 free range chicken
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1/2 leek
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, crushed
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 150ml of dry sherry
  • 150ml of red wine
  • 75g of unsalted butter
  • chicken breasts
  • 150g of carrot
  • 150g of swede
  • 150g of celeriac
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 large bunch of coriander
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  1. Remove the breasts from the chicken and set aside. Chop the remaining carcass, including the legs and wings, into small pieces. Cut all the vegetables into approx. 1cm dice, set aside. Get a large heavy based pan on a high heat and colour the bones in 2 batches until golden and caramelised. Add a knob of butter at the end of each batch and foam for a few minutes, to enrich and brown the bones further, then drain the butter off in a colander. Add the vegetables, the garlic, coriander seeds and peppercorns to the same pan, which should have some dark intense residue stuck to the bottom, and sweat gently for about 15- 20 minutes, until soft and sweet. All the tasty chicken residue should have melted into the vegetables. Put the chicken bones back into the pan, and add the sherry and red wine. Reduce the alcohol until completely dry, then cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, skimming any fat and scum that rises. Simmer gently for 2 hours, skimming frequently. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside.

  2. When the stock is almost ready, ladle some out into a small pan and gently poach the chicken breasts, just covered with hot stock but not boiling, turning the breasts every few minutes. Remove when they are just barely cooked, and allow to cool. While the stock is cooking, prepare the vegetables for the broth: cut the carrot, celeriac, swede and onion into 5mm dice, and finely chop the garlic. Sweat the onion and garlic in vegetable oil for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the carrot and cook for about 5 minutes, add the swede and cook for a further 2 minutes, then finally add the celeriac. Sweat until all the veg is nicely cooked, then remove from the heat. Cut the cooked chicken breast into 5mm dice and set aside. When the stock is ready, season to taste with salt and pour just enough over the diced vegetables, ensuring to leave it nice and thick. You may have some leftover. Add the chicken dice and gently warm through. Finally chop the coriander and stir through at the very end.