Serves 4 to 6
This version of Cock a Leekie may seem more French than Scottish. That is because it is one of the recipes that dates from the “The_Auld_Alliance;” those times in history when Scottland and France were alied against England, one of the moost dramatic being when Mary Queen of Scotts, who was raised in the French court, brought with her to Scotland, French fashions, French ladies in waiting, French musicians and her French chef. Most recipes for Cock a Leekie are for a thick soup. This one makes an excellent entrée.
1 whole large chicken
Boquet Garnet comprised of thyme, sage, rosemary, savory, a bay leaf and celery tops
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 nutmeg, cracked
4 whole cloves
1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
Water or chicken broth to cover
3 or 4 small leeks, cut into 2 inch long pieces, including some of the green, and well washed
6 to 8 new potatoes, quartered
6 to 8 small boiling onions
2 medium size carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch sections
1 cup fresh or frozen pees
About 1 cup of very small button mushrooms
1/2 cup inexpensive cream Sherry
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and fresh coarse ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Put the chicken and its giblets in a pot large enough to hold it comfortably. Add the Boquet Garnet and the next six ingredients. Add enough cold water or chicken broth to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cook until the meat is quite tender but not yet falling off the bone. Set aside.
Blanch the vegetables, (each type separately), and set aside. Do not blanch the peas if you are using frozen ones. Remove the chicken from the pot, place on a serving dish, set aside and keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid and remove as much fat as possible. Add the blanched vegetables to the cooking liquid and cook them to desired degree of doneness. Remove the vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon and arrange them around the chicken.
Put about two cups of the broth in a smaller sauce pan and add the Sherry and cream. Simmer until hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the fresh parsley. Serve in a separate dish to be spooned over each serving of chicken and vegetables. Serve with hot
fresh hot bread.