Thursday, June 29, 2006

What next? [REVISED just for Bagder Badger]

OK. You roasted off a brilliant chicken. But you have bits left over. What will you do?

I have 3½ suggestions.

½- Chicken Stock
Remove every last vestige of edible chicken from the bones. Casually hack up the bones. Put the bones in a big ol' stockpot over medium heat. Brown the chicken remainder. Toss a bit until the maximum brownage has been achieved. Add COLD water to cover the chicken bits by 2" (5cm) and drop the temperature as low as your stove will go. You want a bare simmer (any hotter and you'll be skimming and straining out impurities leached out by the excess heat). Leave it there as long as your patience allows. Me? I've left this to simmer 12+ hours, you do whatev. You may also add carrot/celery/onion...but I don't. Once the liquid has reduced so that the chicken bits are showing, strain (squeezing the last drop of poultry yumminess) and go back to reducing. You want to concentrate all of this liquid into whatever will fit in ONE ice cube tray, which you will then freeze and, once all froze up, store in a zipper-lock bag.

1- Chinois Chicken Salad

Take the leftover chicken meat and shred (use your fingers or, as I do, a coupla forks) into small bite-size bits. (Try to have about a pound-and-a-half or so of chicken for this recipe, which will leave you with another leftover chicken's worth of dressing for a rainy day) You will now make my famous deconstructed* version of the Chinois Chicken Salad from Wolfgang Puck's Chinois on Main.

1/3 c. PLAIN rice vinegar
3 T. "pale" soy sauce (I prefer San-J low-sodium Tamari, and not because of the low sodium)
1/3 c. hoisin sauce
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1½ t. finely minced garlic (as fine as your patience permits)
¼ c. toasted sesame oil OR peanut oil OR combination thereof (I like a 2:1 peanut to sesame ratio)
1½ lb. shredded chicken
½ head of bok choy/Chinese cabbage/Napa cabbage, cut into shreds
¼ c. red bell pepper OR (peeled) carrot, cut into "matchsticks"
6 scallions/green onions/spring onions (whatever they call them where you live) cut fine, at a 45 deg. angle
1 c. crisp chow mein noodles
Salt and pepper to taste

a) Whisk hoisin and oil(s) to emulsify, then add in (s-l-o-w-l-y) the vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and garlic.
b) Toss chicken with 2 T. of the dressing. Let it "marinate" while you slice and dice the vegetableness.
c) Add vegetable matter and toss, slowly adding the remaining dressing (no, not ALL of it!) until the salad is well coated, but no puddles form at the bottom of the bowl. You should have ½ the dressing left over for next time.
d) Plate it up, and sprinkle the chow mein noodles.

2- Iberic Chicken Salad w. Piquillo Dressing

½ c. EVOO
3 T. sherry vinegar (this IS Spanish, after all...use a 4-6 y.o. balsamic in a pinch)
1¼ c. roasted piquillo peppers (jarred is fine, in a pinch plain ol' roasted peppers will do), diced
2 cloves garlic, mashed to a pulp or minced as fine as you can stand
1 small shallot, minced as fine...blahblahblah
3 T. minced parsley (CURLY parsley, in this case, is authentic and preferable. If you only have access to flat parsley use a shade less, as it's stronger)
2 ribs celery, sliced SUPER thin and at an angle
½ c. olives (I like manzanilla or gaeta do whatever, just make sure you get the "real" thing with pits.) pitted and chopped roughly
5 c. shredded chicken
½ c. sliced almonds (I like them toasted)
Salt & black pepper to taste

a) Puree the oil and half the peppers (to emulsify). Add the vinegar, garlic and S&P. Puree some more.

b) Add remaining non-chicken & non-almond bits and stir.

c) Add chicken and toss. Let it rest a bit while you toast the almonds. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

3- (the part I stuck in just for Badger) Thaiish Chicken Salad w. Peanut Dressing

½ c. peanut oil
3 T. smooth peanut butter (pop for the all-natural stuff, you can really taste the diff.)
½ c. lime juice (FRESH, none of that bottled stuff)
2 T. water
2-3 cloves garlic mashed to a pulp or minced as small as you can get
2 t. finely grated ginger (peel it, crated ginger peel is not yummy)
2 T. light brown sugar (or 1 & 1 each of dark and plain sugars)
1½ t. crushed red pepper flakes or 1-2 t. chile oil (taste first, these vary WILDLY in heat level...h/t Badger)

½ c. julienned cucumber
½ c. julienned carrot
4 scallions (or green onion, etc.) sliced VERY thinly on the diagonal
3 T. cilantro/coriander leaves minced
5 c. shredded chicken
½ c. crushed peanuts (unsalted, preferably)
Sea salt (fine, not coarse)

a) Emulsify the oil in the peanut butter. Then add the juice, water, salt (I use about ¼ t.), garlic, ginger, sugar and red pepper, and whisk until smooth.

b) Add chicken to dressing and toss to coat. Let sit while you cut scallions, carrot & cucumbers. Add them to the chicken and toss again. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro and serve.

You're welcome.


* It took me FOREVER to figure this out, so you had better bloody well appreciate this.

Posted by Joke at 10:46 PM


  • Blogger Badger posted at 9:02 AM, June 30, 2006  
    I do a peanutty chicken salad thingie, with scallions and peanuts and crap like that, and a dressing made from natural pb, lite soy and some mirin.

    That's what the thighs are for.
  • Blogger Sarah Louise posted at 11:46 AM, June 30, 2006  
    Hungry am I now...
  • Blogger Joke posted at 12:48 PM, June 30, 2006  
    Ooh...I have one of those too...I'll rummage when I get home.

  • Blogger Badger posted at 3:17 PM, June 30, 2006  
    WRT your revised thingummy: I do a couple of drops of chili oil rather than pepper flakes. And no cilantro, which I find yucky in the company of peanuts and butters made therefrom.

    But otherwise, we are of astonishingly like mind.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 3:35 PM, June 30, 2006  
    So put the cilantro on the side. I normally HATE cilantro, but like it when couched among such company.

    I like the chili oil thing. I may completely revise my formula.

  • Blogger Badger posted at 4:03 PM, June 30, 2006  
    Now see, I normally LOVE cilantro. Just not with peanuts.

    Takes all kinds, eh?
  • Blogger Poppy Buxom posted at 3:27 PM, July 01, 2006  
    HEY! It's "Badger." Not "Bagder."

    Yall are so busy fussing about "Cilantro--Yes or No? Discuss!" that you don't notice when you spell someone's name wrong in the title.

    You're--and I quote--welcome.

    p.s. I will now insist on calling her Bagder whenever I comment on her shopping blog. Because I'm childish that way.
  • Blogger Badger posted at 8:45 PM, July 01, 2006  
    Isn't "bagder" the punchline to a slightly filthy joke? Because if not, it totally should be.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 9:10 PM, July 01, 2006  

    "Nah, just good friends."

  • Blogger BabelBabe posted at 5:18 AM, July 02, 2006  
    Yum. We are having the Chinois for dinner this week. Thanks!
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