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Poached chicken with Tahini, Chilli oil, tarragon and sesame

Poached Chicken with Tahini, Chilli Oil, Tarragon and Sesame

Prep 1 hourCooking 15 minutes2 people

The inspiration for this dish comes from a Sichuan classic known as ‘saliva chicken’, a name that makes it sound far less appealing than it is, which is a mouth-watering combination of poached chicken in a spicy, sweet and tongue numbing oil. A similarly satisfying combination can be achieved with creamy tahini, chilli oil and the aniseed hit of tarragon.


15 minutes

Main Course

Dinner Recipes

Winter Recipes

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Chicken Recipes

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Main Course



For the poaching stock:

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

4 cm knob of ginger, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped

2 star anise, crushed

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp black pepper corns

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 litres water

2 chicken breasts

150g Tahini

120g water

1 clove garlic, finely chopped and crushed to a paste.

¼ lemon, juiced

Pinch sea salt, to taste


For the dressing:

3 spring onions, finely sliced

3 sprigs tarragon, finely chopped

¼ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp ground fennel seeds

1 tbsp lemon juice

4 tbsp Chilli Oil

1 tbsp Apple vinegar

3 tbsp Early Harvest olive oil

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Pinch sea salt


  1. Put all the ingredients for the poaching stock, apart from the chicken, into a medium pan and turn the heat on to high, till it begins to boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Carefully put the chicken breasts into the stock and turn the heat to medium to low, so that the chicken gently poaches. Cover with a lid or paper and turn the heat down if the stock starts to bubble. Leave the chicken for around 15 minutes and then take out to see if it is cooked. It should feel firm when pressed with your finger. If it feels soft or squidgy, return to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. If you’re really scared about undercooking it, make a small incision in the thickest part and check to see if the meat is still pink at all. When cooked, place the chicken in ice water to cool, for 10 minutes and then lay on kitchen paper to dry. Don’t discard the stock as it is full of flavour so can be used to make a delicious soup or broth. Pass it through a sieve and then allow to cool at room temp before refrigerating.
  2. For the tahini sauce, combine all the ingredients and mix with a small whisk or fork. The Tahini will do this strange routine of getting thicker and more stiff, before relaxing to a smooth creamy paste. Set aside.
  3. To plate, spoon the tahini on the base and spread out a little. Slice the chicken into 1 cm pieces, cutting against the grain. Arrange the chicken on top of the tahini so that each slice is laid back, resting on one another. Mix the dressing again before Spooning the over the top of the chicken and around the tahini.

Included in this Recipe

Early Harvest Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Early Harvest Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Single varietal, stone crushed, cold extracted, Extra Virgin Olive Oil made from the first Arbequina olives of the season.

Apple Vinegar

Apple Vinegar

Tart and fruity apple vinegar great for using in an apple cider vinegar dressing or try making apple coleslaw to serve with big juicy pork chops.



Skilfully roasted to release a rich, nutty, balanced flavour, our Tahini is then slowly double ground to create a creamy texture and a glossy finish.