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French Poule Au Pot Soup – Poule au pot is not technically a soup. Considered the main dish, it is a quintessential and very traditional Sunday dinner in French country homes.
But this country girl never leaves well enough alone in the kitchen or in any recipe.
So I made soup instead. I first heard about this traditional dish memorizing my history lessons in grade school!
Yes, this chicken dish is mentioned in French history books. In an effort to boost the late 16th century economy of France after a long period of unrest, Good King Henri IV hatched an idea!
Why not give his “citoyens” the ability to enjoy chicken in a pot every Sunday? Myth or reality, we have to thank him and Sully for a memorable meal.
Chicken in the pot. It’s the literal translation of “poule au pot”.
You have to admit, it’s a great political slogan for the times. I doubt it would work today.
Between the late 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century, it becomes the closest thing to a national dish!
Natural and definitely organic poultry running around free… yes, the organic free-range chickens of yesterday.
These days, the organic whole chicken is plump, great tasting, expensive and readily available in supermarkets.
I am adapting this and other old fashioned, often time-consuming recipes to the Instant Pot® so that I can prepare the recipes more often.
Depending on the ingredients and the “cuisinière”, poule au pot soup is a recipe that can and is adapted to each region of France.
But… the chicken has to fit the Instant Pot®. #1 order of business. Five pounds is about the maximum weight.
When you prepare this soup, don’t limit yourself to the basic soup veggies like onions, carrots, and celery. My soup includes refrigerator finds!
This is a hearty soup packed with protein, tender morsels of chicken and plenty of vegetables.
Enjoy it as a chicken based vegetable soup, a hearty soup with plump pieces of chicken or as a creamed soup.
How about as a vegetable soup finished in a soup blender then topped with croutons?
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During the past couple of years, much of my cooking has involved preparing meals for my elderly Maman.
She is on multiple special diets but – within reason – why not make those restrictive meals more interesting to the taste buds?
It is also my way of sneaking in all the protein and vegetables she now has difficulty preparing on her own.
Here are just a few reasons why I make this type of soup for her.
I do not need to worry about which meats or vegetables to prepare. More than any other restriction, I have to worry about the sodium content of the meals.
After spending a good amount of time comparing soup stocks, I set out to compare the sodium content of bone broths and found a similar discrepancy in each brand.
They ALL taste good. It’s just a matter of how much salt goes into the soup stock or bone broth if we also season the vegetables and the meat.
You have to season ingredients as you prepare the recipe. There is no “seasoning” after the cooking process – at least not in my kitchen. You can adjust seasonings such salt, pepper and certain herbs without any problem after the initial cooking period.
I compared three brands of “regular” bone broth to make this soup and the clear winner is:
The others would taste just as good. I needed two containers of broth to make 6 hearty servings of soup.
The next chicken soup I cook will be made with Kettle & Fire Mushroom Chicken Bone Broth. Kettle & Fire checks off all the must-haves – gluten free, high protein content, collagen and apple cider vinegar.
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Poule au Pot (aka Chicken In A Pot) is the quintessential French country meal. It IS Sunday dinner!
4.75 lbs young chicken (a small roaster is preferable but I have yet to find any weighing less than 7 pounds. This one fit perfectly in the Instant Pot®
“Good, Really Good”® chicken bone broth 31 oz. jar.
Swanson® Organic bone broth free-range chicken – 32 oz. carton
One tablespoon of olive oil
Two tablespoons of butter
2 cups of diced carrots (from a bag of peeled baby carrots)
2 cups of yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 cups of celery, diced PLUS chopped celery leaves (equivalent to a small celery heart)
Pack of fresh poultry herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme)
1 bay leaf (which I forgot to include)
1 large Yukon gold potato, diced
2 small zucchini squash, sliced into 1 inch chunks (optional)
1 cup of French green beans, sliced into 1 inch pieces (optional)
salt and freshly cracked pepper
Low sodium McCormick® Montreal Chicken seasonings
Peel the onion and dice evenly.
Dice the baby carrots carefully! I used nearly a whole 16 oz bag.
Clean and chop an entire small heart of celery including the leaves.
Add 1 good drizzle of olive oil to the pot along with two tablespoons of butter.
Set the Instant Pot® to “Sauté” and when the butter is melted, add the veggies and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Cancel the cycle while you prepare the meat.
Stir the veggies to distribute evenly across the bottom of the pot.
Season the cavity of the chicken with some salt and pepper then stuff with the poultry blend herbs.
Season the outside of the chicken with Montreal seasonings.
Place the chicken on the bed of vegetables.
Carefully pour the chicken bone broth around the chicken to reach the 10 cup level.
Set the Instant Pot® to “Soup” function and cook for the preset time. No need to adjust the setting as it worked perfectly for this size chicken.
The image below shows the result. The chicken is still in one piece and the vegetables are still in whole pieces.
Carefully remove the chicken from the pot. I say carefully because it did come apart as I lifted it out of the pot. This gadget is perfect for this purpose but, along with the bay leaf, I forgot to use it!
Set aside to cool, debone and cut into bits for the soup.
Depending on your preference, you can have the soup:
Here is another yummy recipe using bone broth: Kettle & Fire Thai Curry Soup with Bone Broth
Keywords: French Country Cuisine Recipes, Soup, Instant Pot
One recipe equals several meals with this easy meal prep! That’s what is great about this type of recipe.
It makes enough soup for Mom (2 servings), several servings for the two of us as a dinner Entrée with toast and a salad but also lunch with a sandwich the following day!
The best part? There is plenty of leftover chicken for at least another meal.
None of the above are very French but you have to remember that I cook to indulge all our favorite “cuisines” on both sides of the Atlantic.
What’s your favorite way to use leftover chicken?
1 Cook, 2 Countries & A Taste For World Cuisines: Cooking A La Mode De Chez Nous - Cuisine d'Hier Et d'Aujourd'hui! For the love of home style cooking and great food. Memories are made of this!