Cider‐poached chicken with beans and nut mayonnaise Credit: Ben Dearnley

January 2022


660ml apple or pear cider
2 tsp black peppercorns
4 bay leaves, crushed
2 thyme sprigs
4 x 200g chicken breast fillets
1 baby gem lettuce, leaves separated
1 head witlof (Belgian endive), leaves separated
340g (about 2 bunches) asparagus, trimmed, blanched,
refreshed 80g green beans, trimmed, blanched, refreshed
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1 cup loosely packed flat‐leaf parsley leaves

Pine nut mayonnaise
1/2 cup (80g) pine nuts, toasted, plus extra to serve
1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil 2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tbs verjuice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup loosely packed sorrel leaves (substitute flat‐leaf parsley)
1/2 cup (125ml) grapeseed oil 



  1. Place cider, peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme and 1 cup (250ml) water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

  2. Add chicken, return to boil, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stand, covered, for 20 minutes or un l chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken with a slo ed spoon and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, for the pine nut mayonnaise, place pine nuts and 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil in a small food processor and whiz to a paste. Transfer to a bowl.

  4. Wipe out processor, then add egg yolks, verjuice, mustard, sorrel, 1/2 tsp salt flakes and remaining 65ml olive oil, and whiz un l combined. With the motor running, gradually add grapeseed oil un l well combined. Add pine nut paste and pulse un l just combined. (Mayonnaise can be stored, chilled, for up to 1 week.)

  5. Arrange lettuce, witlof, asparagus, beans, mint and parsley on a platter. Top with sliced chicken. Drizzle with a little mayonnaise and scatter with extra pine nuts. Serve with remaining mayonnaise.