Sunday, 11 March 2012

Cheap cheep

Or how to get every last little bit from your leftover chicken or duck.

First roast your bird- I slow roasted a duck crown yesterday in the slow cooker for 4 hours (having rubbed some Chinese five spice into the skin and seared it in the frying pan first.)

The result was gorgeous- the meat fell from the bone and carved beautifully. I was able to take every last scrap away from the carcass with ease. This made a wonderful roast meal- and also some shredded duck meat was left for gyoza.

The sorry little pile of bones left behind from your chicken or duck can make another meal easily.

Making stock

I used to make stock in my pressure cooker - and this is still a quick and efficient way to do it- but my recent conversion to using the slow cooker has led me to an even simpler and more delicious way to obtain a good pot of stock.

I put the carcass along with some celery and carrot, salt and pepper and 1 litre of water into the crock pot and leave it to cook on Low for 4-5 hours (or pressure cook for 30 mins).

I scoop out the bones and pass the liquid through a sieve before allowing the stock to cool. Once cool you can skim off the fat and are left with a clear and flavourful stock.

From stock to soup

I love a golden vegetable soup and also a chicken or duck noodle soup.

For the vegetable soup- put carrots, celery, potato, bouquet garni (bundle of fresh herbs tied with string) and any other leftover veg in with the stock. (Peas, spinach and sprouts can make this a muddy colour though, so save those for a different dish). Season well and cook until the veg are soft. Remove the bouquet garni.

Blend with a stick blender, adjust seasoning and serve with a swirl of creme fraiche.

For the noodle soup- bring the clear stock to simmering point, add fine egg noodles, chopped spring onion, mushroom, spinach leaves, carrot shavings (or any leftover veg such as peas, finely shaved green pepper, even shredded lettuce leaves are good).

Serve as soon as the noodles are soft, with a dash of soy sauce to season.
I've served mine with duck gyoza (leftover shredded duck, spring onion and hoisin sauce, wrapped in spring roll wrappers and fried until golden) and chilli dipping sauce.

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