Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Poached chicken "à la menthe"

I had a lovely bowl of freshly made mayonnaise sitting in my fridge.

But let me go back a few steps. On the week end temperatures rose to above 30°C. If you ask me, it was my daughter who brought the beautiful sunshine with her smile on Friday evening. The minute I saw her again after almost a week it was summer in my heart. Most people in Milan would however probably disagree, blaming winds from Africa or something of the sort.

Whatever the reason, in this heat all you feel like eating are cool, refreshing platters of salad and fruit washed down with large glasses of ice cold beer.  

Back to my husband's emulsion of olive oil and egg yolks. Now that I had the mayo I could make a recipe I saw a few days ago on Manu's Menu and just couldn't get out of my mind. I am glad I didn't. It is so delicate and refreshing and so light despite the mayonnaise, that we have decided this will become a staple summer dish. It is great to make for a summer lunch with friends, a picnic or a pool party because it should be made a day in advance. But please remember, especially if you are making you own mayonnaise, to keep it in the fridge or in a cool place until just before serving.

If you have leftovers, no question. This will make a killer chicken salad sandwich.

Ingredients (for 4)
To poach chicken
a large chicken breast
pepper corns
a few mint leaves

For the sauce
1 1/2-2 cups mayonnaise
a large bunch of mint leaves
olive oil

To poach your chicken breast, place it in a pot and cover it with water. Add in a slice or two of lemon, a few mint leaves, some pepper corns and some salt. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Turn off the stove, cover the pot and let the chicken sit in the hot water for another 15 minutes approximately. Take the chicken out and let cool completely before cutting into bit size chunks. While it is cooling wash the mint leaves an put them in a food processore with a drizzle of olive oil, a little lemon juice and some salt. Process until the leaves are finely chopped and mix in the mayonnaise. Taste for salt, pepper and acidity. Mix in the chicken pieces and store overnight in a sealed container.


  1. Ohhhh I am so glad you guys liked it! :-) It is one of my favorite summer dishes! :-) Lovely presentation! 30C, already???? I am sure your little one had something to do with it! <3 Qui comincia a fare freschino invece! Un bacione!

  2. This looks really lovely. I have been really obsessed with mint recently, tossing it into everything. Enjoy the weather, it's freezing in Sydney!

  3. Wow this recipe sounded good when Manu posted it and still sounds good reading it for a second time... I will wait patiently for the summer and cook some myself!

  4. I just bought a heap of mint for some homemade mojitos, but I think I will use the left overs for this dish! Jealous you are in Italy, didn't realize! I cannot get back there soon enough!

  5. This looks wonderful! Yes, a perfect summer dish! I love poached chicken and the mint is interesting! You're inspiring me to make mayo too! Delicious!

  6. Oh, I really like this. I'm going to steal this idea for some special chicken salad sandwiches.
    *kisses* HH

  7. I have never heard of chicken and mint salad. It sounds refreshing, like something to serve for a fancy lunch!

  8. Manu - now I know why it is one of your favorites!
    Nicole - Hi! save this recipe for when your summer rolls around again!
    Pola - promise me you will, it is worth it.
    Ashley - If you come over, let me know your whereabouts. Mojitos and this chicken...not a bad idea. I loooove mojitos.
    DD&W - it all works really well together and is so refreshing.
    HH - you must!
    HGF - that is right. Looks very fancy and is really simple and so practical because you prepare it ahead of time.

  9. When I saw the first picture I thought of the place that make my favourite chicken sandwiches when I worked in one area. I would look forward to lunchtime every day. And then you mentioned what a killer sandwich filling it would be and I was totally nodding :D

  10. I'll have to make double this amount in order to have leftovers. It sounds so refreshing and light and flavorful!

  11. Lorraine, Sophia - chicken salad sandwiches it is then!

  12. Hi Fiona, I am thinking of creating a new page to feature the recipes from Manu's Menu that have been re made by other bloggers. It would be great if you'd like to be a part of it... If you do, please send me a picture of your chicken a la menthe to and I’ll publish it with a link back to your site. I can also put your name on the picture. Feel free to write a little comment on the final outcome (both good or bad… hopefully there will be more good reviews… hehehe) and I’ll add that to the page as well. It would really be great if you participate! But if you cannot it is still ok, no hard feelings! :-)
    I hope you have a great weekend!

  13. This is an interesting recipe, I'm wondering about the flavor that the "menthe" can provide, cant wait to go home a try it.


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