15 December 2009

The Best

I just de-fatted the best chicken stock I have ever made. The only other chicken stock that has come close is a method for quick chicken stock using a whole chopped up chicken that is browned and "sweated" with sautéed onion before adding water. It always seemed like a waste to use the chicken meat only for the stock, as the meat could be used as kitty litter it is so dry.

For the most delicious chicken stock such as that in my pantry, I took two approaches to the bird. First, I used a variation of a method for preparing Hainanese chicken rice by dropping the bird into enough boiling salted water to cover it by an inch or so. Roughly chopped celery, carrot, onion, bay leaf, peppercorn, and one dried red chili. I let it come back to almost a boil, covered it, heat on low for fifteen minutes then I turned the heat off and let it poach for another forty-five minutes or so. I removed the poached chicken and dropped it into a colander over a bowl. After the chicken cooled a bit, I shredded the chicken from the bone, being pretty messy about it (there will be a lot of dark meat still attached to questionably textured (fat is not supposed to be crunchy unless it is fried!) fat so do what you want. I reserve all the pulled chicken meat for stuff (mmm chicken salad, myriad pastas, or DOY make chicken soup!) and throw everything else back in the pot, bring it up to an almost boil and throw it in a 250° oven overnight. Strain, at least twice, when you wake up.

Poaching the chicken in water starts the stock off with a strong chicken flavor so when the carcass goes back in it doesn't have to do much work, but it does all night. The other great thing about poaching the chicken is you can add any aromatics you want--say you were going to make a Thai-style chicken soup--you can start off poaching the chicken with lemongrass, ginger, chili, and lime leaf.

Woo. so exciting.


Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious actually...

eunuch said...

Careful Cory or Meryl Streep will be clamoring to play you in the movie version!

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