Poaching a chicken is very easy, as long as you follow a simple rule: Don’t allow for the bird to overcook. Instead, it simmers in water at 165 F for one hour, and what you get is delicious, juicy meat. Pay attention to the temperature of the water in the first 10 minutes so it doesn’t get higher, or you will end up getting a dryer bird.
Here is our list of ingredients that add favor both to the chicken as well as to the stock. We save ends of veggies in a zip lock bag kept in the freezer for months, and chicken bones in a separate bag. If you don’t have any of these in your freezer, just use whatever veggies and herbs you have in your refrigerator.
1 whole chicken, giblets and neck removed from the cavity
about a cup roughly chopped carrots
about a cup roughly chopped celery
about a cup roughly chopped leaks
about a cup roughly chopped parsley
about a cup other vegetable ends saved in the freezer
2 sprigs rosemary, dill
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves and a stick, dry
8 pepper corns
1/8 cup salt
chicken bones saved in a bag in your freezer
How to make it
Put all ingredients in a big pot, cover with water by about 1 inch. Bring to a gentle boil and aim the water temperature for not higher than 165ºF–if it goes a bit higher, turn off heat and wait for water to cool down to 165ºF. Simmer at this temperature for one hour. Make sure that the thickest part of the chicken thigh meat has reached 165ºF.
Remove chicken from pot and let it cool off on a cutting board for a few minutes. Throw out all the skin, remove meat from the bones, then add bones (and other saved bones from your freezer) to the pot, and simmer for up to two hours. Use a strainer to separate liquid from the solid, pressing the solid through the strainer with a ladle. Cool off stock, put it in a plastic bag to freeze.
SOPHISTICATED CULINARY by Lucas Eller