Natural Chicken Week 5 Ditmas Park CSA
After some Google group discussion with other CSA members I realize I am not only person with tough chickens problems. The chickens in my csa aren't being treated like any other grocery store chicken, organic, non-organic, free range, or any other variety. The chickens aren't packed or treated with water or preservatives. No these are chickens that live and die and are given to me.
I was going to progress from least to most intensive cooking treatment (roasted, brined and roasted, braised /poached) but I jumped to poached with better results. The chicken went in a pot at low heat. After an 45 minutes or so I let the chicken sit in its cooking fluids for an extra 30 minutes off heat. I saw Daisy Martinez do this on her show. She explained that chicken "sighs" and absorbs the flavors in the water. I don't have any scientific evidence that this is true, but all of Daisy's recipes have proven themselves. My natural chicken came out remarkably moist and a few notches more tender ready for all kinds of other uses. As an added bonus the cooking fluids make a nice broth.
Poached and Pulled Chicken
1/2 chicken, skin, bones and all
2 tblsp sofrito
room temp water
1 tsp salt
Put all the ingredients in a large thick sided pot and fill with water to cover the chicken. Place over medium temp water and allow the chicken to come to a low boil. Its going to take a while to for the chicken to boil, but don't rush it. Lower the heat a little so the chicken simmers. Skim the foam off the top of the water, but do not stir. Cook until chicken is opaque and fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes after boiling.
Remove from heat and let chicken sit in fluids for 30 minutes. Take chicken out of pot and let sit until cool to the touch. Meanwhile strain the fluids into a container and reserve for other purposes. I plan to poach my next chicken in this broth.
Remove the skin with a fork, and tear chicken into pieces with your hands or with the help of a knife. Remove the meat from bones with a fork, and shred into pieces. The chicken can be used sauced and made into a great bbq sandwich, used as a stuffing for vegetables, made into chicken salad. or on tacos.