Poaching an entire chicken is a far easier task than roasting one and just like a roasted chicken, you can get several meals out of it. As a bonus you also get broth, which can be transformed into a soup base later on in the week. It’s like my favorite black leggings, versatile and ready to be dressed up without much difficulty. On weeks when I need maximum mileage out of one ingredient, poaching a whole chicken is the way to go.
Last week began with a child home sick with a common cold, and another one on the brink of becoming sick. The onset of the cold season made me think of a medicinal Korean dish called samgaetang, which basically is a cornish hen(or small chicken) stuffed with rice, dates, ginger, ginseng, and then slowly cooked in water. Really, it is the Korean mom’s chicken soup. Whenever my mom would cook it, I’d want to sneak out the back door, and jump the fence into my friend Christina’s house.(I seriously have an aversion to ginseng.) Even with clogged sinuses, one can smell cooked ginseng miles away. I’d imagine a witch’s brew smelling somewhat similar. If the odor of ginseng didn’t properly offend, then the taste of the bitter root would definitely have you jumping over a chain-link fence to avoid eating it. Yet, it is a prized root costing a good penny due to its healing properties. Understandably, my mom would hover over me until I’ve slurped up the very last drop of her samgaetang. The only thing that made it bearable was the tender chicken that was so soft and delicate.
Part 1 of poached chicken is a light nourishing salad tossed with fresh oranges in an orange vinaigrette–topped with crispy fried tortilla strips. It turns out that Vitamin C tastes much better than ginseng, and also helps with colds.
Fried tortilla chips are incredibly easy to do and so delicious on top of a salad. Although, only half of the fried tortilla chips made it to the salad, thanks to my hungry sort-of sick children. They look way too spritely to be really sick.
- Poached Chicken:
- 5 pound all natural chicken
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- shredded white meat from poached chicken(you can substitute with store bought cooked chicken)
- 8 c romaine lettuce
- 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper
- 2 c arugula
- 1 long english cucumber cut into matchsticks
- (optional: garnish with cilantro or scallions)
- Salad dressing:
- 2 large navel oranges
- 3/4 c of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs honey
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 finely minced garlic (1/2 tsp)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs dijon mustard
- Tortilla chips: 2 large tortillas with enough vegetable oil to fry them in.
- (Poaching: Place chicken(remove package in the cavity of chicken), onion and garlic in a large pot. Fill pot with enough water to completely submerge chicken. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for an hour. Remove chicken and let cool before shredding. Throw out the bones and reserve the dark meat. Use white meat for salad. Refrigerate the dark meat. Once the poaching liquid cools, refrigerate as well.)
- Salad: Place all the salad ingredients in a salad bowl. When ready to eat, toss with dressing and top with fried tortilla strips.
- Dressing: Peel oranges with a knife and then segment. Place segments in the small bowl. Squeeze all the juice out of the rest of the oranges into the bowl. Pour just the orange juice(about 2 tbs) into a jar, and place orange segments into the salad bowl. Place the rest of dressing ingredients into the jar and shake vigorously.
- Tortilla chips: Slice tortillas into strips and fry then in small batches in about 2 cups of hot oil.(Amount of oil depends on frying vessel. A wok was used here.) Watch carefully as they cook very quickly. Drain them on paper towels once they turn golden brown and salt them to taste.