Je Mange



“I eat therefore I am”– Culinary Genius

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Herbed Milk Chicken

So this is something I created today. It's Chinese New Year so I've mostly been cooking and eating Chinese food but tonight I wanted something different. 

I had a bunch of skinned chicken thighs cut in half and low on aromatics, 1 onion, shallots and garlic. 

The idea of butter chicken came to mind (I have a ready jar of ghee in my cuboard) a tasty Indian dish but I had no clue of its ingredients and was too lazy to check. From butter my mind went to Italien spices of which I have ample dried. This dish developed itself, it is rich, creamy, balanced and aproaching etheral.

This could be a soup, sauce or a saucy dish over rice, potatoes, pasta or some other light grain. I think I'll cook up some orzo.

Don't be too concerned about over salting. Since chicken is fast cooking its very important to season it well enough and usually in advance (esp if its thick). My sauce was too salty initially but the milk took care of it. It's an interesting practise to make something no longer salty as opposed to coming at it from the other end (many people are afraid of putting too much salt in and would be agasht at the amount of salt used in restaurants). Whenever you cook a food in a large amount of liquid it should be slightly over seasoned in order to get enough salt into the protein. If the liquid is under seasoned it will just leach salt from the protein.

  1. 5 shallots, sliced
  2. 1/2 head of garlic, sliced
  3. 1.5 quarts of chicken, seasoned
  4. 2 T butter: clarified, whole or ghee
  5. 2 t thym
  6. 1.5 t rosemary
  7. 1.5-2T summer savory
  8. 2 t black pepper
  9. 1+ t light vinegar (I used some high quality sushi rice vinegar, which is lower acid)
  10. plenty of salt
  11. ~1c water or stock
  12. 1t thai sriracha sauce
  13. ~1 c milk; heavy and delicious (we have a fine organic milk from Archer farms)
  14. 1-3 T roux

  • Sweat the garlic and shallots in the butter, season with salt
  • put the chicken in, turn it and let it get white all over.
  • add thyme, rosemary, savory and pepper, turn.
  • add stock/liquid and vinegar.
  • bring up to a boil. lower heat for a simmer, covered.
  • dont over cook! cook for about 8 minutes, checking the largest piece.
  • remove the chicken, blend the liquid (I used an immersion blender)
  • pass the liquid through a fine mesh
  • put the liquid back on the heat, add the hot sauce and milk. dont put too much milk or too little, adjust as desired.
  • adjust the acidity, it should be rich but not cloyingly so. 
  • adjust seasoning. 
  • mix in roux to desired thickness
  • have loved ones taste it and be impressed.

Other thoughts:

  1. further processing of the meat in order to get more herb flavor inside, perhaps marination if its not thick, an herb brining or a paste. 
  2. garnish with fresh herbs. use something that's in the dish, not parsley. 
  3. I think marjoram would be delicious too. 

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