Pretty, isnt it? I unfortunately didnt have the forsight to take a photo of this bird in its pot of beautiful colorful veggies and herbs before boiling it all away. But I think this shot does a good job of conveying how tender the meat became.
I was inspired this weekend by Maki at I was just really very hungry, where she recently poached a chicken. Just something so simple... food at its most primitive and natural. Unadorned. Healthy and clean. Plus the house smelled wonderful... and I was left with the bonus of a giant amount of Chicken stock. =)
I modified Maki's recipe... but stuck with her method... I was hesitant at first, but it worked!
1 large chicken
3 celery stalk, including the leaves
1 large onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 bunch of parsley
1/2 lemon cut into slices
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
METHOD (from I was just really very hungry)
Remove any giblets, etc. from the birds and wash them under running water. (If your birds came with neck pieces you can add that to the water for additional flavor to the stock.) Place in the pot.
Put all the vegetables, herbs and lemon into the pot. Fill with water enough to completely cover everything plus about 2 cm / an inch.
Bring the pot to a boil on high heat. When it's come up to boiling point, lower the heat to medium-low (it should still be bubbling but not rolling). Skim off all the scum that comes up for 15 minutes. At the end of that time, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid, and let it sit for at least 1 hour, up to 90 minutes. (If you are using a ceramic or electric stove, pull the pot off the heat.)
Open the pot and cut into your bird around the legs. It should be perfectly cooked through, with no red or pink, but still moist. If it still seems raw, put the pot back on the stove, bring up to a boil again, then turn the heat off and leave with the lid on for an additional 30 minutes.
Take the chickens out of the pot, letting the liquid drain back into the pot (careful, it's very hot!). Let cool enough to handle. Remove the skin, and take off the meat in as big chunks as you can manage.
Store the meat, well covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it.
If you want to keep the stock, fish out the flavoring ingredients and put it in the refrigerator until it's cold and the fat has congealed on top. Strain and store in the freezer until you need chicken stock in a recipe.