This simple yet very delicious dish couples old-fashioned home-style cooking with a modern penchant for lighter fare. You'll have 4 cups of flavorful chicken stock left over from this recipe. Pour it into jars three-fourths full, and freeze them for up to three months.
10 black peppercorns
4 whole allspice
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
10 small red potatoes (about 1 pound)
5 carrots, cut into 1-inch-thick pieces (about 3/4 pound)
2 leeks, trimmed and each cut into 3 pieces
2 onions, quartered
3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth or 6 cups water
1 (3-pound) chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
Minced fresh chives (optional)
How to Make It
Place first 4 ingredients on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together, and tie securely. Place cheesecloth bag, potatoes, and the next 7 ingredients (potatoes through black pepper) in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is done.
Remove chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon; set aside, and keep warm. Discard the cheesecloth bag. Return the broth mixture to a boil, and cook until reduced to 4 cups (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat. Reserve 3 cups broth mixture for another use.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour; reduce heat, and cook 1 minute. Add 1 cup broth mixture, and stir with a whisk. Stir in milk. Cook until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring frequently.
Remove meat from bones; discard bones and skin. Chop chicken. Arrange vegetables on a platter, and top with chicken. Spoon sauce over chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.