Meats · Soups

Finding yourself in hot water

Bob Ross Winter sceneLast weekend I was the only one up, so being gracious, I eschewed vacuuming in my loved ones’ dreams. Instead I turned on the TV in the family room quietly and was drawn in [pun intended] by a familiar yet departed face. Bob Ross was painting some happy little trees, and he managed to keep me enthralled with the magic with emanated from his brushes and knives. How *did* he do that? RIP Bob. You are a wonderful memory to a lot of people!

Another lovely, but too soon departed soul is Jeff Smith, known on television an in his books as the Frugal Gourmet.  A local with a knowledge of all things food, he inspired a generation of cooks to not only cook well, but cook with intelligence and thrift.

One of my favorite tips is cooking chicken meat to be absolutely soft, moist and tender, whilst making a lovely stock at the same time.  This morning James asked for Pumpkin Curry soup.  I told him I didn’t have any stock made, when I realized I had some chicken thighs, so voila!

Cooked Chicken

from Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet

Put a chicken (or chicken parts) in a large stock pot.  Cover with cold water to a depth of 1 inch above the chicken – this ascertains the hot water will cover all the bits later.

Remove chicken from water.  Place stock pot over high heat and bring to a boil.  Add the chicken to the pot and bring back just before boiling.  Remove pot from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Remove chicken from pot again.  Return the pot to heat and bring it back to a boil.

Add the chicken to the pot, bring almost to a boil again, remove from heat, cover immediately and leave for 1 hour.  Your chicken will now be safely and thoroughly cooked.  Cool and refrigerate, if not using in a recipe right away.

The resulting stock will of course not have been flavored or salted, but freezes well and can be added to a soup to which flavors will be added to taste during the cooking process.  If you prefer to have flavored chicken meat, you can always add herbs and/or make a mirepoix prior to adding water.


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