Three-Day Chicken 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Jun 4, 2014

Poaching the bird in broth is worth doing in this lightly spiced, Medieval-inspired recipe; that way, the chicken flavor shines through.

The extravagant amount of pine nuts called for makes this a special-occasion dish.

Make Ahead: The recipe title refers to the time the poached chicken needs to marinate in its dressing.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes about 7 cups

  • For the chicken
  • One 4-pound chicken, preferably free-range
  • 6 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups pine nuts, toasted (see NOTE)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the dressing
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • One 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup raisins or dried currants
  • Zest of 1 orange, cut into very thin slivers
  • Zest of 1 lemon, cut into very thin slivers


For the chicken: Place the chicken in a deep pot just wide enough to hold the chicken and large enough to hold all of the broth; add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and skim off/discard any scum or foam on the surface. Cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool; strain and reserve the broth if desired.

While the chicken is cooling, make the dressing: Combine the vinegar, bay leaves, sugar and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the liquid is barely bubbling and the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the pepper, raisins or currants, the slivered orange and lemon zest. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat to cool. Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

Discard the chicken skin and bones. Cut the meat into a combination of long, thin and narrow pieces as well as bite-size pieces, placing them in a large plastic zip-top bag as you work. Pour the cooled dressing over the chicken, making sure the meat is evenly coated. Seal and refrigerate flat for 2 to 3 days, turning the bag a few times to make sure all of the meat stays moist.

When ready to serve, add the toasted pine nuts and parsley. Drizzle with the oil (to taste), tossing lightly to incorporate. Serve at room temperature.

NOTE: Toast the pine nuts in a large, dry skillet over medium-low heat, shaking the pan as needed to avoid scorching, until the pine nuts are golden and fragrant. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Cook for Your Life: Fresh, Delicious Recipes," by Ian Thorpe (Hardie Grant, 2011).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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