Thursday, October 25, 2007

Everlasting chicken - was Magic chicken

Ok, my 18dd suggested I change the name of this post. I'd forgotten that "magic" has other connotations - pot (and I ain't talkin' 'bout what 'cha cook in!)

I thought I'd include my everlasting chicken recipe. I use this recipe to make several meals from one fryer size (3-4 pounds) chicken. You can make 1 large pot of soup, 1 large pot of either chicken and rice or chicken and dumplings or a smaller pot of each. You will also have breast meat to make another meal out of, plus more chicken meat from wings, back, neck and scraps that didn't come off with the breast and then more broth.

First I thaw my frozen chicken (if it was frozen), then wash it out, pick off any missed pin feathers and remove the giblets. I then take Mr or Ms chicken and put it into my large soup pot, cover it with water - to about 2" from the top of this large pot. I then season it with salt, onion powder, garlic powder, Adobo and poultry seasoning. Bring it all to a boil and reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 20 mins.

I then remove the meat from the pot. I have a partially done chicken and about 6 cups of stock.
Next I remove the legs/thigh quarter from both sides and set that aside. I preheat the oven to 350 degrees, while that's heating I re-season the chicken itself with the above spices, sans salt. I put the chicken and the giblets into a roasting pan and cook the chicken for another 30 mins or until the meat is tender.

While the breast meat is cooking, I remove the meat from the thigh/leg quarters. I put the fat, skin and bones aside, I'm going to use them again later.

When the meat is off the quarters, I then need to make some choices. What do I want to make with this batch of broth. I can make a large pot of soup, or I can wait and make the soup from the later broth I make from the scraps and bones. Normally, I make a batch of either rice or dumplings. I have a ds, Thang #2, that is a bottomless pit, so I make 3 cups of rice to the 6 cups of broth, or split the broth into two pans and make dumplings. I could just make the dumplings in one pot, but we like the fluffy dumplings and found that 2 pots made better dumplings for our taste buds than one pot did.

Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken cut or shredded into pieces
Biscuit dough (This is Southern U.S. biscuits, made with flour, salt, baking powder, milk and shortening/lard/oil. Biscuits in the rest of the English-speaking world are cookies to us. We DON'T want sweets here lol)

Make your biscuit dough with about 1/2 more milk than the recipe calls for. You don't want a stiff dough that you can knead, but you don't want soup either. It needs to be stiff enough to use a spoon to scoop it out. (if I need to post a recipe, email me and I will. It's late and I don't want to go hunting for it now. lol)

Now put the chicken and broth on and bring it to a boil, then turn it down to simmer.

To make dumplings, you will need a cup or glass of cool water and two kitchen spoons, not measuring spoons, but what we call table spoons. Bigger than what you stir your coffee/tea with, probably a soup spoon elsewhere. Here's what to do: dip one spoon in water, dip it into the dough and come up with a lump of dough on your spoon. Now dip the second spoon in the water and use it to push the dumpling into the now simmering water. Keep dipping the spoons into the water before you go for the dumpling dough and they will slide right off the spoons.

When you have all the dough into the pot, cover the pot and set the timer for 10 mins. Listen to make sure it doesn't boil over - with the lid on, you may need to turn it down just a tad, but you do want it to be simmering. At the end of 10 mins, take the lid off and let it cook for another 10 minutes. Test a top dumpling. It should be light and fluffy. The inside should be cooked. If it's still gummy, let it cook a minute or two longer and it should be done. Also note that the top dumplings will be fluffy, but the dumpling underneath will just be clumps of cooked dough. Some people like the more solid dough a lot. We don't like them as much, so that's why I use two pans - even though I could get all the dough into one pot - even when it's a triple batch of dough.

When I do two pans of broth, I double or triple my recipe to have enough fluffy dumplings. So one batch of biscuit recipe should be enough for one pot of broth for normal people.

Chicken and yellow rice - VERY easy to make
meat from 2 thigh/leg quarters
6 cups broth (add water if you're a little short on the broth. Or water and bullion if there's no broth)
3 cups rice
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Adobo
1 tsp salt

Measure broth and rice carefully! Too much of one affects how the rice will turn out!
Put the ingredients back in the big pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low (3 on mine on a scale of low to 9, 9 being the hottest), stir well, put a tight-fitting lid on the pot and set your timer for 14 minutes. DO NOT remove the lid, stir or otherwise mess with it. LEAVE it ALONE! When the timer goes off. STILL DO NOT remove the lid, stir or otherwise mess with it! Just take it off the heat and let it sit for 10 mins.

At the end of this time, you will have perfectly cooked rice, no sticking to the bottom of the pan, no undone rice and no soupy rice - unless you've either not measured carefully, don't have a tight-fitting lid or opened the pot. I've fixed rice like this for 30 years and the only time it has ever failed is when I've gotten lazy with measuring the broth or rice. This means getting to eye level with your measuring pitcher for the liquid and using a knife to scrape the excess rice off the top of the measuring cup instead of scooping and shaking the rice sort of level.

The turmeric will give the rice a nice yellow color.

I serve this with my Aji picante (Colombian salsa)that I posted before. (And if someone will tell me how to link back to that post, I'll gladly link it for everyone.)

Salsa Colombian style (Aji Picante)
6 Roma tomatoes, or 3 regular tomatoes, diced small
1 med onion, diced small
1 jalapeƱo pepper, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
red wine vinegar
olive oil

Place in a medium size bowl and mix together tomatoes, onions and peppers. Add vinegar to 1 1/2" to 2" below vegies. Pour a 1/2"-1" layer of oil over all. Add salt and stir well. Use fresh.

Back to our chicken in the oven. When it's done, remove the meat from the bone. You may save the breast meat either in two halves or shred it. You can make another meal or two from this meat. Either chicken sandwiches, chicken salad or baked breast meat with potatoes/rice, vegies and bread or salad. You will also have meat from the wings and back, as well as scraps of meat from other parts. Save these for the next round of broth-making.

More Broth
Save the skin, bones and scraps from the chicken from the oven as well as any goodness on the bottom of the roasting pan. Do NOT add the liver, this will make the broth have too strong a flavor - unless your family is just crazy about the taste of liver. I've been known to add some water to that pan and "deglaze" it, then add that to the broth pot as part of the water. Add the ones from the thigh/leg quarters. Add a couple of carrots, not peeled, just broken into about 3 pieces, 1 onion, not peeled, just cut into quarters, 1 or 2 stalks of celery - again, just broken into 3 pieces. Place into a roasting pan or into your big pot and cover well with water. Add the usual cast of characters: salt, onion powder, garlic powder, Adobo and poultry seasoning. Place in the oven at 350 for a couple of hours, replacing the water as needful or place on stovetop and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a couple of hours. (Can put this in the crockpot too!) At the end of this time period, you have a nice broth. Strain it (I just pour it into my colendar, with a bowl underneath it to catch the broth). Toss the bones, skin and cooked out vegies. You can either put it into a container overnight, remove the fat and use; or go head and use it. The fat will pool at the top and you can skim it off with a spoon.

Chicken noodle soup
Egg noodles
Bits of chicken from deboning the chicken
Anything else you'd like to add - shredded carrots, potatoes, cooked rice instead of noodles, diced celery, diced onions, etc.
Seasonings to taste

Put the broth, noodles and bits of chicken into the soup pot along with anything else you'd like to add. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Cook until the noodles are done. If using uncooked rice, make sure you use 1 cup of rice to at least 3 cups of broth, perhaps even 4 cups of broth. You want soup, not a pot of rice.

Chicken gravy

You can also use some of the broth to make gravy and shred some chicken into it. Serve it over rice, potatoes or bread.

For each cup of broth you want to make into gravy, add 3 tablespoons of flour to another bowl. Add just enough water to make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the hot broth and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. Adjust your seasonings.

Chicken Pot Pie
Gravy from above with some meat (or not)
pie crust, biscuit dough, corn bread dough, tortillas, mashed potatoes, etc. Enough for 1 or 2 crusts (one for top and one for bottom - if you want a bottom crust)
frozen mixed vegies
diced potatoes (see note below)

This is so simple. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Select your pan - pie plate, 9x13, cast iron skillet, casserole, whatever you want to use.
Mix gravy with meat and vegies. If you want a bottom crust, pat it into your chosen vessel, otherwise grease with your choice of stuff so you can get it out of the pan when cooked. Then pour the mixture into the pan. Top with whatever your using for a top crust. If a solid crust, cut a couple of small slits into it. Place your pan on a cookie sheet (to catch any overflows) and put in the oven for 30 minutes or so. You want to heat the food through and brown your crust.

All of these recipes can be frozen - unless you add potatoes to anything. I've heard that other people freeze potatoes, but I've never had good luck with the texture after doing that.

There you have it. One miracle with chicken.


jennifer said...

Oh I love this post! I came over from Rhonda Jeans blog, but am in New Mexico! I love the world being brought together via the internet..

and my other blog


Anonymous said...

I love these recipes, could you post your bisquit recipe too??