Poached Chicken (and Chicken Stock)

The 1960’s, when I was starting to hone my cooking skills, was the
start of a revolution in American home cooking.  The gurus of the
movement were James Beard, Craig Claiborne and Julia Child.  Those
three became known as the Holy Trinity of American cooking.  None of
them were trained chefs but rather were passionate cooks and they
shared that passion with all who were willing to read.  Of course
Julia went on to become one of television’s biggest stars.  I still
treasure their books and refer to them often.  Even though many of the
recipes are for dishes we would no longer serve today, their
instructions for basic preparations are still valid and often provide
a springboard for something more contemporary.

With that in mind, the following recipe is for something truly basic

for any cook.  How to poach a chicken and the resulting stock (or
broth).  The meat from the chicken can be used in dozens of ways and
the stock is like having gold in your freezer!  Because you don’t add
any salt during the preparation, you can control the taste of any
recipe in which you use it.  Also, it has no preservatives and no
ingredients you can’t pronounce.

The recipe:

1 chicken (I use a large roasting chicken)

1 large onion, unpeeled, cut in half
4 large carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped
3 or 4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped (I like to use the heart of
the celery with the leaves)
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Thoroughly rinse the chicken and place in a large stock pot.  Cover

with water and bring to a boil.  Skim any “gunk” that comes to the
surface.  Reduce to a brisk simmer and cook for about 10 minutes and
skim again.  Add the vegetables and peppercorns, reduce to a simmer,
cover and cook for 30 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow the chicken to
cool in the broth.

Remove the chicken and remove all the meat, returning the skin and

bones to the stock pot.  Return the broth to a simmer and cook for 3
to 4 hours.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the solids from the broth
and then strain through a cheesecloth lined strainer into a large
bowl. Chill and then transfer to containers for freezing.  Note:  If
you are short on freezer space, after you have strained the broth, put
it back in a clean pot and simmer for an hour or so until reduced by
half.  Just remember to use half broth and half water in your recipes!

What to do with the chicken meat?  I used some of the breast meat,

sliced, for a chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, bacon and
mayonnaise.  The rest I will use to make my deconstructed chicken pot
pie - with the final remnants going to our Yorkie, Mac! Of course,
this chicken makes delicious chicken salad, you can use it in any
casserole recipe, chop some along with some chopped carrots, a few
frozen peas, some rice or tiny pasta and make chicken soup.  The
possibilities are endless.



Did you end up eating the chicken? lol  SarahBeth

Hi Sarahbeth,

We sure did eat the chicken! Most of it went into a chicken pot pie
(see video) and the remainder made several BLT sandwiches with sliced
chicken breast, some I chopped and froze to use in Fajita Tacos (see
video) and the few remaining scraps went to our Yorkie, Mac!
Remember, I am a Scot - nothing goes to waste!

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