Potted chicken with herbs

  • Serves 4-6 as a starter or snack
  • Hands-on time 15 minutes, plus chilling
  • Easy
Adapted from Mrs. Beeton's Victorian era cookbook, this potted chicken recipe has been updated with a meatier texture and fresh herbs.

Nutritional info per serving

For 6 servings 

  • Calories528kcals
  • Fat52.1g fat (31.6g saturated)
  • Protein14.3g
  • Carbohydrates0.9g (0.7g sugars)
  • Fibre0.3g
  • Salt1g
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  • 350g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs (see tip)
  • 300g shredded, British free-range cooked chicken
  • Zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • Fewgratings fresh nutmeg
  • Large handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped

To serve 

  • Good quality crusty bread, toasted


  1. Melt 250g of the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. When it’s foaming and melted (don’t let it brown) take it off the heat, pour it into a glass jug and leave to cool.
  2. Spoon off the white foam on the top of the cooled butter and gently pour the golden liquid into a medium pan, leaving the milky solids in the jug.
  3.  Add the bay leaf, thyme, chicken, lemon zest, cayenne and nutmeg, then warm gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring to combine. Take off the heat and add half the lemon juice and the parsley, then taste and season well. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs but strip off a few thyme leaves into the mix. Divide among 4 small pots or Kilner jars, pressing down lightly.
  4. Melt the remaining 100g butter as in step 1, then spoon off the foam and gently pour it in a thin layer on top of the chicken pots to cover. Again leave the milky solids behind.
  5. Chill for 1 hour or up to 3 days. Bring up to room temperature to serve, or heat gently in an oven at 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3 for 2-3 minutes until spreadable.
  • Chives, oregano and rosemary all work well here, too.
  • The fresh, strawberryish flavour of a decent red beaujolais is best for this.

From April 2015

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