Consommé - Clarified bone broth
As I was saying yesterday, I was thinking about consommé, which is a sort of super tasty clarified bone broth, as a substitute for coffee, as the high gelatin content gives it that nice full mouthfeel, and it is such a good thing to have for your body.
So I have shown you how to make stock, the backbone of consommé, and you can most certainly do it that way, I will show you how to take that route when we get to the clarifying stage, but I wanted to do this one a little differently. I want a full flavour without adding salt. I want to have my cake and eat it too.
I decided that instead of making a straight stock I would poach a whole chicken so that I can use the meat for a variety of different things, thus sorting all my dinners for the next few days, and I will show you what I am going to do with all that lovely tender meat in the next few posts, but first, consommé. I always think that what other people call bone broth and chefs call stock is a pretty bland thing. It is like a helper enzyme, it helps other things be great but in itself is just sort of there. When we make a consommé we are taking all of that wonderful nutrition that is in a stock, all those wonderful building blocks and making them into what they aspire to be. This is not one of our quick things to make, but you can ignore it for most of the time and at the end you will have two fabulous things, the consommé and a great pile of poached chicken. Ready? Then let us begin.
1 tbs olive oil
1 small free range chicken
1 large carrot, quartered and sliced
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery
2 large cloves garlic
handful of fresh rosemary and thyme
1 lemon, cut in half, juiced, keep the shells
2 litres of water
150g raw chicken mince
5 egg whites
Heat your oil in a large pot and then brown the chicken all over.
Tip in your carrot, celery and onion, keep on cooking until you have some nice colour there, add the garlic, lemon shells and roughly chopped herbs.
That is an inelegant looking chicken! Goodness, let’s cover it with water! So tip in your lemon juice and water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for at least an hour and a half until the chicken is falling to bits, like this -
Strain the juices, either discard the veg or use to make a soup base or frittata, return juice to the heat, then as soon as you can handle it, strip the meat from the bones, return the bones, cartlidge and skins to the pot and simmer for another hour, this will draw out the gelatin and intensify the flavour, remember, we are not making a stock here, we are making a broth, so we want some good flavour.
Gorgeous, that will keep me in protein for a week! Pop that in the fridge, we will have a look at it a little later.
So after an hour or so we strain the juice again, removing the bones and any leftover bibs and bobs, discard those bones and lets have a look at what we have.
Right. Well, that is a lovely flavoursome stock, but we are looking for a clarified broth, so we skim off as much of that fat as we can, don’t worry too much about it though, we will deal with the rest when it is cold and then we wash its pot and return it to the heat. Pour the stock back in, (this is also the point at which if you are wanting to clarify any stock you would begin HERE). Beat together the egg whites and raw chicken mince and whisk that in.
Okay, now, at no point do we want this boiling, but it has raw chicken in it now, so we need it to be hot enough to cook through. Slowly does it, on a low heat bring it to simmer point, giving it a good stir from time to time to dislodge any egg white or chicken solids stuck to the bottom of the pot, they will come to the surface and form a ‘raft’, capturing any solids or cloudiness in the process.
Looks gross, doesn’t it? Have faith. We want that to simmer for ten minutes to be sure all of the chicken has been cooked through, then we strain it through a colander that has been lined with a rinsed chux or double layer of muslin.
Hmmm. Still looks pretty gross, let’s have a look at what is underneath.
Wow! A rich, golden consommé, full of flavour, beautifully clear, bursting with nutrients. Just what we were looking for. Let all of the consomme drain out through the chux, you can gather it into a ball and give it a light squeeze if you want to, this can make it cloudy but I am not too fussed about that, I want to save every drop I can, if you have dogs or a cat they will love the curds left in your chux, otherwise discard them.
So what next? Well, next we are going to chill it so we can lift the last of the fat off the surface.
So I have lifted the fat off the top, now I pour this gorgeous chickeney jelly into my silicon cupcake moulds and I make
Little consommé bricks. When I want to use one for a broth or a beverage, I just pop it into a cup, top up with boiling water and then heat to required temperature.
How does it taste? Mmmmmmm!