Thursday, 10 July 2008

Poach Chicken

Vegetables cooked in chicken stock after poaching chicken

HBH is into chicken breasts whereas I am not. HBH is also not into chicken rice. In order to satisfy both parties, I always debone the breasts from the whole chicken. It's cheaper to debone your own chicken as opposed to buying different parts of the chicken. The breasts are kept separately for a different meal for him. See recipe for Baked Chicken with Garlic and Potato in a separate posting.
Corn fed chicken was used in this recipe. Can you appreciate how yellowish the skin was?

The word 'calories' was not in my vocabulary as the skin was not wasted.
I am not into cooking chicken rice for myself but yearning for the soft juicy texture of poached chicken.
Poaching chicken leaves the meat more delicate and moist thus retaining the true essence of chicken flavour. There is a quicker way of cooking chicken but that will be a separate posting entirely.

Main Ingredients:
One chicken about 1.5 kilos washed and patted dry with kitchen papers.
Rub all over chicken including cavity lightly with a tablespoon of sea salt.

Stuffing for cavity of chicken
1. One spring onion tied into a knot
2. Two cloves garlic, skin on and lightly bruised
3. A knob of ginger, lightly bruised

Poaching Ingredients:
1. One spring onion, white stem lightly bruised.
2. Two thumbs of ginger, skin on, lightly bruised
3. Six whole cloves of garlic, lightly bruised with skin
4. One tablespoon Tio Pepe dry sherry or Shao Hsing Hua Tiao Chew (optional)
5. Chicken stock – I am using Knorr chicken cubes. See amount under 'To Poach item '3'.

To Poach
1. Place chicken in a pot just large enough to hold chicken.
2. Add poaching ingredients.
3. Fill pot with chicken stock to immerse chicken completely by a minimum height of half an inch. This is important for even cooking. You may need a plate or bowl to weigh chicken down.
4. Bring pot to a rapid boil and when scum froths on the surface, skim and discard.
5. Lid on tightly, ensuring no steam escapes and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, depending on size of your cooker ring.
6. Turn off heat, remove pot to a rack and let it stand for between 45 minutes to an hour, depending on size of chicken.
7. To check if chicken is cooked, poke a chopstick into the thickest part of a chicken. The juice should run clear.
8. Remove chicken and rub gently with a mixture of one tablespoon sesame oil and a tablespoon of light soya sauce.

To Serve:
Chop chicken into bite size pieces. Optional to garnish with sliced spring onions/coriander.

Suggestions for uses for the Stock
1. Make chicken rice.
2. Skim chicken oil for Hainanese chilli sauce
3. Soup base for wanton and vegetables stir fry etc
4. Soup base for winter vegetables

Note: For poached chicken, I am not into cooling it in a bath of iced water.