Consomé de Pollastre amb Flam

Chicken Consommé with Egg Custard

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • 6

    Medias Raciones

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

A WEDDING IN PRIORAT IS, GENERALLY, A VERY HAPPY OCCASION, WITH NO EXPENSE SPARED TO CELEBRATE THE DAY. THIS OFTEN INVOLVES KILLING A FEW HENS TO FEED THE WEDDING PARTY. AS USUAL IN CATALAN COOKING, NOTHING IS WASTED: EVEN THE UNLAID EGGS INSIDE THE POOR CHICKENS ARE TURNED INTO A FLAN — A FIRM SAVOURY CUSTARD FLAVOURED WITH JUST A SCRAPING OF NUTMEG, SITTING IN A CLEAR LIQUID FLAVOURED WITH SHERRY. THE SECRET TO MAKING THIS CONSOMMÉ AS CLEAR AS WATER IS TO TAKE THE COOKING PROCESS VERY SLOWLY. THIS STOPS THE STOCK DRAWING OUT THE PROTEIN FROM THE CHICKEN. THE ADDITION OF THE POTATO — A PRIORAT TRADITION — ADDS BODY AND AN EARTHY BACKGROUND NOTE TO THE CONSOMMÉ.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) chicken bones
  • 50 ml ( fl oz) olive oil
  • 1 carrot, cut into large chunks
  • 1 brown onion, unpeeled, halved
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 2 large floury potatoes, peeled and left whole
  • 170 g (6 oz) piece of jamón
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) oloroso sherry

Egg Custards

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) pouring (whipping) cream
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Place the chicken bones in a roasting tin and cook for 30 minutes, or until golden.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add the carrot, onion and halved garlic bulb and sauté for 8–10 minutes, or until golden. Add the roasted chicken bones, potatoes, jamón and 4.5 litres (157 fl oz/18 cups) cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 hours, skimming the surface regularly.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2-3).

Strain the consommé through a fine sieve and pour into a clean pan. Stir in the sherry and boil for 2 minutes, then strain again and pour into a large bowl or jug. Leave to cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The following day, carefully remove the solidified fat from the top of the consommé.

To make the egg custards, combine the egg yolks, cream, nutmeg, 400 ml (14 fl oz) of the cold consommé and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Place six lightly greased 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) dariole moulds or ramekins in a deep baking tray. Divide the mixture among the moulds, cover each mould tightly with foil and place in the oven.

Pour enough warm water into the baking tray to come halfway up the side of the moulds. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until just set but still a little wobbly in the centre. Remove the custards from their water bath and leave to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.

To serve, reheat the remaining consommé until just hot. Run a small flat knife around the edges of the flans and invert onto warm soup plates. Pour the consommé around the flans and serve immediately.