Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About

With this method, the ingredient and the liquid medium in which it is going to be cooked are started at a cold temperature. This enables the natural juices to be extracted and dissolve into the cooking liquid, flavoring it. Poaching, simmering, and boiling are all methods of cooking by extraction. Poaching and simmering entail cooking at lower temperatures than does boiling; poaching is usually done at just a bare simmer, while simmering is accomplished when the liquid is bubbling gently. For the most part, poaching and simmering are the most desirable methods because the violent movement caused by hard boiling often damages the ingredient being cooked or causes it to disintegrate. When making a stew, meat or poultry is blanched in boiling liquid and removed and refreshed as soon as the liquid has come to a boil. It is then returned to a pot of cold water (or other liquid) and again brought to a boil. The cooking temperature is then lowered to a simmer, the liquid is skimmed, and aromatic elements are added, usually a bouquet garni, leeks or onions, carrots, celery, an onion stuck with a whole clove (oignon clouté), and seasonings. The pot is covered, and the mixture slowly cooks, infusing the liquid with the flavors of the meat, vegetables, and seasonings. Creamy stews like blanquettes, marmites, and poached chicken are all examples of cooking by extraction.