Homemade Chicken Stock and Chicken Piccatta

I have a mystery basket  for my final practical tomorrow in culinary 104, the course that marks my halfway point in culinary school. It may not be Food Network, but this is Chopped as far as I’m concerned. Tomorrow, for my practical I will receive an unknown abundance of ingredients–no clue what will be in it, but I know I have one hour and thirty minutes to create an entree which should include the protein, starch, vegetable and a sauce.

I also have to present an appetizer from the ingredients I will be given. Oh, and keep my station clean, only two dishes at the pass time and I am sure he will look back at our protein to see the yield we got from fabricating the meat. The protein option we will receive will be something we have broken down this phase. Most likely a whole chicken, whole fish, or beef tenderloin. The one thing I have struggled with this whole semester is the chicken. It’s just plain hard. All said and done we should get 10 pieces from our chicken fabrication.

Cross your fingers for fish. I am hoping for flounder, sole, or halibut and I plan on preparing en papillote or “in parchment”. Hopefully Ill open my basket and hit the ground running. Should be interesting!! Every time Chopped comes on tv, I pause and tell who ever I’m with what I would make, now here’s my chance.

In preparation for my big day tomorrow, I practiced breaking down a whole chicken and used the the bones to make chicken stock (see recipe below) and used the breast meat (skin on) to make chicken picatta tonight. I need to make sure I could make a pan sauce with a recipe using stock. I think the sauce was a success, the rice was more like risotto 🙁 can’t win ’em all.

This is what you skim off (the impurities that float to the top)

Homemade Chicken Stock:

What you need:

1 pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs

1/2 large onion, quartered

4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2

4 ribs celery, cut in 1/2

10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems

1 bay leaf

8 to 10 peppercorns

2 whole cloves garlic, peeled

 1/2 gallon cold water

What  You Do:

Place chicken, vegetables, and herbs and spices in 12-quart stockpot.  Cook on med heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the liquid. Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon or fine mesh strainer every 10 to 15 minutes for the first hour of cooking and twice each hour for the next 2 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours

Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot or heatproof container discarding the solids. Cool immediately in large cooler of ice or a sink full of ice water to below 40 degrees. Place in refrigerator overnight. Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and store in container with lid in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months. Prior to use, bring to boil for 2 minutes. Use as a base for soups and sauces.

Chicken Picatta: my practice for the practical version

What you need:

2 organic skinless and boneless chicken breast
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 handful’s of capers (washed and drained)
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped

What you do:

Heat 1 T butter in sauté pan over high heat, season chicken breast with kosher salt and cracked pepper, place chicken breast skin side down in hot pan until the skin side is crispy-it will release when ready so don’t touch! 😉 Then, flip. After both sides are browned, finish chicken in 350 degree oven until 165 degree internal temp. For the piccata pan sauce: deglaze pan with 1/3 cup of lemon juice, reduce. Add chicken stock and reduce by half. Lastly, add capers and whisk in 3 T of cold butter, add chicken back to sauce and eat up.



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