A barely shimmering pot of poaching chicken will always put a smile on Ed's face. He loves having a big bowl of poached chicken in the refrigerator. Back in 2011, we told you that we consider Poached Chicken a Cook's Treasure. We are going to be our own Friday Link today and direct you to some of the ways to enjoy this basic preparation.
Ed doesn't enjoy cooking, but he'll slice some cooked chicken to top a salad. (He's the household salad maker.) And, he knows that this healthy protein can also be turned into some of his favorite dishes.
Dishes like this Curried Chicken Salad. We don't use mayo, so we look for lighter ways to add moisture and flavor to salads.
If you buy a good quality chicken, poach it carefully, and don't overcook it, you'll have nice, moist chicken meat when you finish. I usually pull it out a tad undercooked and let carryover cooking finish the job. You can use a fast read thermometer to be sure you've reached the food safe temperature.
I learned to poach chicken years ago from a chef that hired me to do some design work for him. He treated our staff to a beautiful tray of sandwich makings one day while we worked on one of his projects. I was so impressed with the lovely, moist slices of chicken, that I asked him to teach me to make it, and he did.
Naturally, you can poach a chicken or two in stock and make a very rich chicken soup when the weather outside declares it Chicken Soup Week.
When I do that, I usually pull the chicken from the pot, strip off the meat, and return the bones to enrich the broth. Then, I'll strain the broth, reserve some for future use, and add fresh vegetables to the rest. When the carrots, celery, and onions are tender, I'll add back some of the chicken meat to complete the soup.
This time of year, it really pays to spend one afternoon (preferably a rainy or snowy one) cooking to wind up with food in your refrigerator and freezer that will help get you through a busy week.
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Words: Penny Cherubino
Photos: ©2008-2014 Penny & Ed Cherubino