Simple Poached Chicken
This recipe is based on a method described by Jeff Smith in The Frugal Gourmet. It’s easy, and it results in moist meat and pure chicken flavor. This moist chicken can be added to salads, casseroles, soups, pastas…the possibilities are endless.
1 whole Smart Chicken (about 4 pounds)
2 gallons of water
Put the water in a stock pot and bring to a rolling boil. Using tongs, grab the chicken firmly without piercing the skin; plunge the chicken in the boiling water. Keep the chicken submerged until the water stops boiling. As soon as the water stops boiling, pull the chicken out and place it in a bowl or pan. Return the pot of water to a rolling boil. Using the tongs, grab the chicken firmly without piercing the skin and place it in the boiling water again. Immediately turn off the heat and cover the pot; do not disturb for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Pull chicken from the pot and place it in a bowl or pan to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the remaining chicken from the bone and use immediately. (Or cool completely, wrap, and refrigerate for future use.)
After you’ve removed the chicken from the poaching liquid, you can use the carcass and the liquid to make chicken stock.
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
Discard half of the water from the stock pot. Add the chicken bones to the water in the pot, along with the onion, carrots, and celery. Cover and simmer for 3 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer to remove the vegetables and bones. Cool immediately and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. (Or freeze the stock to use at a later date in soups, gravy, risottos, and sauces.)
Recipe created by Kelly Clark, Carrboro Farmers' Market , Carrboro, North Carolina