Chicken Consommé

This can be a versatile soup, garnished with some pasta threads and a poached scallop for a soup course. Its main purpose in my kitchen, though, is as an ingredient, and so I make it without salt.

Ingredients

Stock

  • 2 lb (900 g) chicken winglets or carcasses
  • 8 oz (225 g) onions, peeled
  • 8 oz (225 g) leeks, washed
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Clarification

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 8 oz (225 g) mixed peeled and chopped leeks, carrots and onions
  • 1 chicken leg, boned and cut into small pieces

Method

The Stock

  1. Roast the winglets or carcasses in a moderately hot oven – 400°F (200°C) Gas 6 – until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  2. Roughly chop the vegetables and then pan-fry in the oil until lightly coloured.
  3. Lift the winglets and vegetables into a large saucepan. Discard any grease or residual oil from the pans and deglaze them by boiling 1 pint (600 ml) water in first the frying pan then the roasting tray. Pour this liquor on to the bones.
  4. Add a further 3 pints (1.65 litres) water and the peppercorns, bring to the boil and skim. Let the stock simmer for 1 hour, and skim periodically, topping up with fresh water as necessary, so that you end up with 4 pints (2.25 litres) of stock.

The Clarification

  1. Combine the clarification ingredients in a food processor. The clarification mixture works better if it is well chilled. Many cooks mix ice cubes into it at this stage.
  2. Skim any fat from the 4 pints (2.25 litres) stock and add the stock to the other ingredients in a large pot.
  3. Bring to the boil. You should stir the stock regularly as it comes to the boil, as it has a tendency to stick to the pot base and burn. When the stock arrives at boiling point all the clarifying ingredients will form a white crust, underneath which you should have a crystal clear consommé.
  4. Allow the consommé to simmer very gently for 1 hour, then strain it through wet muslin.
  5. Reduce the consommé by gentle boiling until you have 2 pints (1.2 litres).
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