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Ginger-Poached Chicken & Broth

July 25, 2007 by  

A Green Flame Recipe

Serves 4 to 6

Green Meter:

Green Goodness: 15 minutes of cooktop fuel cooks a whole chicken, with healthful broth
Prep/Cooking Times: 5 minutes prep +15 minutes active cooking + 60 minutes resting time
Prime Season: year round
Conveniences: Can be made 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated.
Morphable: Use the broth wherever chicken broth is called for; shred meat into soup, salads and sandwiches, rice paper wraps, spring rolls, tortillas, or serve pieces hot with soy sauce and rice. Vary the seasonings for a Mexican, Indian, or other flavorprint. (See specific recipes in headnotes below)

In this Chinese poaching method, chicken simmers for a short time immersed in seasoned water, then the flame is turned off and the chicken continues to gently “cook” in the hot liquid. The meat is far more tender and moist than if boiled until done, and the resulting chicken broth fills the house with aromas of ginger, green onion, and sherry. My favorite cure for a cold? A bowl of this chicken and broth, with noodles, and bok choy or shredded Chinese cabbage.

If you cook this dish in advance and refrigerate it, the fat hardens and you can just lift it off. Also, the chicken meat stays moist in the broth and is easier to shred when cool. I usually stretch this dish across three meals: I first serve most of the chicken pieces with a sesame-soy or Vietnamese style dipping sauce and rice. The broth can go into Wonton Soup, and I shred the remaining chicken into a sophisticated but amazingly easy Hazelnut Chicken Salad on Shredded Napa Cabbage.

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), without giblets
2-3/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 inches fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices
5 whole green onions, green and white parts diagonally cut into 2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons dry sherry

1. Rub the chicken all over with the salt, including inside the cavity.

2. Place the chicken (and neck if available) in a pot just large enough to hold them. Add the ginger, green onions, and sherry to the pot. Fill the pot with enough water to just cover the chicken by 1/2 inch.

3. Bring the water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, skim away the brown scum that rises to the top and discard. Partially cover the pot and reduce the heat. Simmer the chicken 15 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat. Leave the chicken fully covered in the pot for 1 hour. Serve the meat and broth as a soup, or separately in other recipes. If desired, refrigerate overnight before use. Before serving, skim or remove the fat and discard the cooked ginger, garlic and green onions.

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