“Jus’ Wild About Saffron*”

September 19, 2019)

splurge on new saffron

for my arroz con pollo

with poached legs-n-thighs

*(Turmeric not in its usual slot on spice rack nor in the fridge rack and none of my formerly green tees look yellow, and achiote gives – to me – a funny tang to chicken-n-rice. Give the hind quarters a hot bath in a boiling stainless-clad aluminum cauldron and skim scum before return-to-boil after adding a whole washed but unpeeled onion, four or five similarly treated garlic cloves, two or so washed but unscraped carrots and similar number and treatment of celery (forget not to add leaves!), toss in a half-hand of whole black peppercorns and if you must your favorite spices whole (I shy from adding salt and taste first the reduced broth and stock before seasoning for soups, stews and such, and when that’s achieved give it a full minute of such full roiling boil before turning off the heat, covering the pot and letting “rest” for a full hour. An instant-read probe should reveal temps at 165 degree Fahrenheit at minimum – remember, the chicken when pulled from the bird’s skeleton still with cook for a bit more, so worry not about the bird’s first bath temp. Take chix from pot, removing the carrots and celery for later portion-chopping, removing the skins of onion and garlic and reserving resultings with veg (I use the often whole onion’s outer leaves “to bed” my chicken sandwiches and then to return with other veg in soups and poached bird salads), then – the garlic I treat as soft candy or just schmear on some buttered toast for a side-treat; strip skin and either discard or let dry on a rack above a quarter-sheet pan for later immolation in hot oil for crispies, and strip meat from bones and such, returning bones to pot for a later reduce-boil with some extra chicken feet for gelatin’s sake – the keel-bone cartilage is particularly fine for extra jelling purposes: reserve some of the liquid for the arroz-con-pollo but reduce the pot well for a jellied component which could be added to a nice chicken salad with thin-sliced sweet onion, radish and cucumber over a bed of Boston and red-leaf lettuces. The pulled chicken is used for soups, stews, barbecue sandwiches or just to make the butter-n-lettuce comfortable ‘twixt pre-salt-n-pepper bread. Or, do it your way.)

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