We love good bang for your buck and this recipe has it in spades. Think like a chef and maximise your output from your ingredients. Use up your scraps to make poached chicken AND broth for your freezer.
Keep any scraps you might have in a large freezer bag in the freezer, or if you have some veg that is about to turn to slime, save it by adding to the bag. When we say ‘scraps’, set your mind free from what you’ve always thought should go in the bin and include:
- garlic and onion (green, brown, white or red): skin, roots etc
- carrot: peels, tops, roots etc
- celery: scraps, leaves, base
- mushroom stalks
- any spare and dying herbs you have lurking in your fridge such as parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary etc
- tomato tops, skin or pulp (whatever you haven’t used)
Next time you want to poach some chicken, try it this way instead.
- In a large pot, empty your bag of frozen scraps. For 3-4 chicken breasts, you could have veg scraps up to about 1/3 to 1/2 of the pot. This is not an exact science, but it will work anyway. Aim for a variety of scraps, but don’t worry too much though the onion and carrot bits are probably pretty essential.
- Put your chicken breasts over the top and just cover with water. You could add some peppercorns and/or a bay leaf if you like too.
- Bring the pot of water JUST to the boil; try not to let it boil. Then remove from the heat and put the lid on. Let it sit for a minimum of 20 minutes before testing to see if the chicken is cooked. If you want to speed up the process, get the heat down so the surface of the water is barely shimmering and cook about 10minutes before testing.
- Remove the chicken and use for salads, sandwiches, soups etc. You wont believe how tasty, soft and moist it is.
- Strain the vegetables out and you will have an excellent homemade broth/stock.
Uses for your broth/stock:
Freeze it to have on hand any time a recipe calls for chicken stock or try one of these ideas:
- Add some cooked barley to the warm stock, chopped carrot, chopped green beans and bring back to the boil for about a minute. Add your shredded poached chicken and top with parsley for an easy chicken barley soup.
- Use for stock in a risotto
- Use as a base for chicken and sweet corn soup
- Use instead of water when you cook rice, adding a few rough chunks of ginger to the pot, and serve with the shredded chicken and your favourite asian green veg
- Cook lentils in your chicken stock and serve instead of rice as a bed for lamb cutlets or in a lentil and beetroot salad
- Use in a curry
- Warm and pop in a mug for winter after-school treats.
- For a quick asian noodle soup, warm udon noodles in the stock, add vongole, baby spinach, grated ginger and some enoki mushrooms. Simmer until the vongole open then season with soy sauce.