Ginger-Poached Whole Chicken
Based on an old Chinese method, this dish produces perfectly cooked chicken, and it couldn't be easier to do. All you do is put chicken in a pot with broth and additional flavorings, cover and partially cook it, then remove the pot from the heat. The covered bird finishes cooking in the hot liquid and emerges tender and delicious-and almost fat free, as the fat renders into the broth. Serve this with crusty bread.
Two 2- to 3-pound chickens, preferably kosher or free-range
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Eight 1/4-inch-thick slices of peeled fresh ginger cut lengthwise from a 2- to
1 bunch of scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 cup packed Thai basil or regular basil leaves
4 quarts Master Chicken Broth or low-sodium canned chicken broth
2 large carrots, peeled and finely shredded
- Season the chickens inside and out with salt and pepper. In a pot large enough to fit the chickens completely submerged in liquid, combine the chickens, breast sides up, with the ginger, scallions, basil, and broth. Cover and bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Lift the cover, add the carrots, cover the pot, and remove from the heat. Allow to stand for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour for the chicken to finish cooking. (Do not lift the lid during this time or cooking heat will be dissipated. The chicken won't overcook, even if left for the maximum time.)
- Remove the chicken, carve, and serve. (Strain the broth, cool to room temperature, and store for future use.)