Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Trying a New Technique

Because I'm still adjusting to being home, I'm keeping things rather simple this week.

So, rather than try a new recipe today and tomorrow (I'm probably putting that off 'til Saturday for Valentine's Day), I'm trying a new technique.

Poaching is defined as "cooking something in a small amount of liquid." 

I have never successfully poached chicken, though I've tried in the past.

Today, I want to make chicken soup so I can use up some box-stock (yes, I know, AB has a stock recipe, but I don't currently have a 12-qt stockpot in the house, though I think I do at least have one) and broth, but I haven't roasted a chicken recently. 

The hubs suggested I use canned chicken. Thanks, honey, but if I'm going out anyway, why don't I just get chicken parts?

I'm OK with canned chicken in certain applications, like buffalo chicken dip and the spinach-and-chicken flatbread recipe from last week, but not so OK with it in soup. It can taste a little artificial if it's not slathered in cream ... and I'm not slathering anything with cream.

For today's experiment, I got a package of "organic" split chicken breasts and a package of bone-in chicken thighs, some fresh ginger, garlic, and a large onion, in addition to the ready-to-use "soup starter" and "soup greens" pre-mixed packs in the Produce section at Wegmans and a bag of organic lemons from TJs. (Most times, I find this is cheaper than to buy everything separately.)

Poaching doesn't exactly follow a recipe, but there's a method, so I followed the one I linked above from The Kitchn blog. 

Those instructions are very clear and they give both a "how to check if your chicken is done" and a "how long should I simmer my chicken" instruction, which I find very helpful. I do wish, however, that I had a deeper pan because my poaching liquid did run over a bit onto my stovetop. (I'll have to clean it again.)

As the chicken is cooked, all I'll need to do to prep it for soup is ... remove it from the bone & chop it before I add it to the pot. Easy-peasy!

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