Poaching is a healthy way of cooking chicken. Pair it with good-quality pesto for a flavour boost.


  • 1L (4 cups) Massel chicken style liquid stock
  • 1 cup (250ml) dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 strip pared lemon rind
  • 2 baby fennel bulbs, trimmed, quartered
  • 4 x 170g chicken breast fillets
  • 8 baby (Dutch) carrots, trimmed
  • 2 small parsnips, peeled, quartered
  • 150g baby green beans, topped
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto
  • Toasted baguette slices, to serve


  1. Place stock in a large deep frypan with wine, bay leaf, thyme, lemon rind and fennel. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove fennel and set aside.
  2. Add chicken to the stock and poach, uncovered over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Add carrots and parsnips to stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add beans and cook for a further minute. Return fennel to stock to warm through. Season well.
  3. Divide vegetables among serving bowls and spoon over a little stock. Top with chicken breasts and a dollop of pesto, and season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve with toasted bread.