There's Nothing Paltry About This Poultry
A good roast chicken is truly a thing of beauty. Succulent tender meat under crisp bronzed skin. Served up with all the trimmings or a simple side salad and a glass crisp white wine. But, what do you do if there isn't a hoard to feed. What happens to the bird that didn't make it straight to your plate?
For thousands of households the half eaten bird is wrapped up and popped in the fridge. Maybe someone makes a sandwich, but more often the days go by before the inevitable discussion "how long can we keep the chicken? Was it frozen or not? Better just bin it to be on the safe side..."
This does not happen in the Gent's house! We roasted our free-range bird to a glorious golden brown until it reached the magic 75 degrees C (165 degrees F). After resting for 30 minutes we enjoyed a breast, leg and thigh with roasted veggies, steamed greens and a controversial Yorkshire pudding.
After dinner we set about preparing our bird to maximise its presence in our forthcoming meals, but not before we roasted more veggies in the pan. These take on all those fantastic meaty flavours and, when blended with a little water, become four portions of fantastic hearty soup.
To the bird. We carefully removed the remaining breast, keeping it whole, and set-aside to cool. Next we removed the leg and thigh from which we picked off all of the meat, placing the skin and bones in a large pan. We then picked off all the remaining meat from our carcass, not forgetting those all important oysters (they're normally the chef's treat, but we don't mind sharing every now and then).
The carcass, including all trimmings and additional bones, went into a pan with a teaspoon of Szechuan pepper corns, a pierced chilli, garlic cloves and a couple of star anise. Add water until the bones are just covered, then bring to the boil and simmer for 60-90 minutes. Strain carefully and place in an airtight container before cooling and refrigerating.
We now had a roasted vegetable soup, a succulent chicken breast, a tonne of picked leg/thigh and carcass meat, as well as a deeply flavoured and spiced stock.
So, to sum up. One free-range chicken helped create the following: a roast dinner for two, four portions of roasted vegetable soup boosted with roast chickeny goodness, Caesar salad for two, four portions of Vietnamese glass noodle salad and two steaming bowls of pork ramen. That's 14 portions of scrumminess from just one chicken!
What are you going to do with yours?