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Sliced Poached Chicken with Light and Lemony Gravy


  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 onion, quartered

  • 2 ribs celery, halved

  • 1 carrot, peeled and halved

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pasted

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1 lemon, zested

  • 2 lemons, juiced

  • 1/3 cup light cream (optional)

  • Bread, for serving (optional)

  • A few leaves of fresh basil, torn or shredded, for garnish


Place the chicken in a deep skillet or pot with the onion, celery, carrot and bay leaves. Cover with just enough water to come to the top of the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, then simmer until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate with tongs and tent with foil. Strain the poaching liquid and reserve 1 cup.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the butter to melt. Add the shallot and garlic and stir for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for another minute. Stir in the thyme and wine. Add the lemon zest and juice and the reserved poaching liquid and simmer to reduce the sauce and thicken a bit. Stir in the cream, if desired. Slice the chicken and add to the sauce to warm. Serve with bread or a simple pasta dish such as Egg Pasta with Leeks. Garnish with basil and serve.