Poach a whole bird
Gentle poaching is a classic way of cooking any kind of bird, like chicken, duck, goose or even turkey. It leaves the meat tender and juicy. Poaching not only brings a pleasing taste but also produces a delicious broth. The poaching time depends on the weight of the bird. Trussing the bird before poaching ensures it retains its shape during poaching. A whole bird poached in flavorsome broth can be one of the most delicate dishes you will ever experience. You can also poach the bird’s breast or thighs, with or without stuffing.
Personally I prefer to poach with stuffing as the meat will absorb all the flavors from the stuffing, bringing a wonderful lift to the taste. Poached chicken is perfect for pie fillings as well for sandwiches, and any leftovers work really well in this bread pizza recipe. Here is a fuss-free method on how to poach a whole bird.
- Truss the whole bird, including the neck if you like, and place in a large pan. Pour over enough cold water to just cover the bird. Bring the water slowly to the boil over a medium heat.
- Skim the surface with a slotted spoon, lower the heat and add sliced carrots, onions and a bouquet garnish. If you wish you could add some more varieties of herbs or maybe garlic and chilies. Poach, partially covered, for the calculated cooking time which is allowing 20 minutes per 450 grams.
- When the bird gets tender, remove from the poaching liquid and drain as much liquid as possible over the pan. Remove the trussing string and cut the chicken into pieces. If you wish you could discard the poached liquid but I recommend to use the poaching liquid as a lovely chicken stock or else you could reduce the heat and thicken the liquid to make a tasty chicken sauce.