The last chapter in Section 4 — More Elaborate Entrees is Chapter 12 — Poultry & Meat Entrees with fourteen recipes.
It’s hard to pick favorite recipes. But there are certain recipes in At Home that do have a particular association. Manou’s Boiled Chicken is one of a handful of recipes that come from special people in my life…but being a special person alone did not qualify for their recipe’s inclusion. It had to be a special recipe.
Manou’s Boiled Chicken with Ginger-Garlic Relish & Sticky Rice
This is about as far from your mother’s boiled chicken as Philadelphia is from Bangkok. Manou, a friend and also the wife of this book’s illustrator, Pascal, served this to us on a visit to Brussels. The chicken is removed from the bone and served with a potent swirl of chopped ginger and garlic. Simple, humble and delicious!
do ahead Chicken is best if made shortly before serving but it can be made up to two days ahead, refrigerated and refreshed in stock. Relish can be made up to four days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Rice should be made just before serving.
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 cup small-cubed ginger
5 garlic cloves, crushed,
1 cup small-cubed garlic
1 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed and divided
2 bird’s-eye chiles or 1⁄2 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup chopped scallion
4-5 pound chicken
1⁄4 cup plus 3 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
11⁄2 teaspoons salt, sea salt preferred
3 cups jasmine rice or other long-grain rice
1 To cook chicken: Rinse chicken, place in a large pot and cover with at least 2 quarts water. Add sliced ginger, crushed garlic, 1⁄2 cup cilantro, chiles and 1⁄4 cup fish sauce. Bring to a slow boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Add back water as needed. Cook until meat falls off the bone, about 90 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and allow it to rest until it’s cool enough to handle. Remove skin and pull meat from bones, discarding bones. Skim fat from stock and set aside. You will use stock to make the relish and rice and to refresh chicken, so save at least 7 cups.
2 To make relish: In a small sauté pan, heat oil over moderate heat. Add cubed ginger and garlic and gently sauté to soften without browning, about 3 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons fish sauce and 1⁄2 cup reserved stock. Cook over moderate heat until liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 5 minutes. Set relish aside to cool.
3 To make rice: Rinse rice well in strainer until water runs clear. In a pot, combine rice with 41⁄2 cups reserved stock. Bring to a slow boil, cover, and reduce heat to very low until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
4 To serve: If chicken and stock are still warm, place chicken on platter and pour a little stock over it to moisten. If you cooked chicken well in advance and it is now cold, refresh chicken in a pot with stock over moderate heat until just warm. Add salt. Garnish with scallion and remaining cilantro leaves. Serve with relish and rice on the side.
One of more than 300 side notes:
Entrées in Wide Soup Bowls
Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Varying your dishes spices up the look of your food. We sometimes like to serve an entrée in a large wide soup bowl, which gives the presentation a bit of unexpected, restaurant style drama. Try it at home.
About 100 “bottom notes” are autobiographical:
The Sun Sets Over Jerusalem
Born into a family of assimilated Jews living in suburban New York, I felt little connection to my ethnic heritage. Ever travel-willing and curious, I joined a “mission” to Israel that a local organization was sponsoring. We’d been in the holy land for nearly a week when we headed to the mountain fortress of Masada, where legend has it that 960 Jews committed suicide rather than submit to the Roman Tenth Legion and accept Roman rule. After a brief float in the Dead Sea, we drove north through the Judean hills (of the Dead Sea Scrolls) toward Jerusalem. Our arrival there was carefully timed for Friday’s sunset, the beginning of shabbat and the procession of yeshiva students praying at the Western Wall—the surviving section of Solomon’s ancient temple and Judaism’s most sacred site. As the sun reached the horizon, our bus continued up hills straddling valleys with familiar Old and New Testament names. We turned a corner and suddenly below us was Jerusalem, a city with buildings of native pink stone. The glow of the setting sun reflecting in the pink stone created a light that can only be described as biblical and indelible.
Tomorrow: Countdown to shipping continues with the beginning of the preview of Section 5: Accompaniments with Chapter 13 — Room-Temperature Accompaniments and twenty-one guest-pleasing recipes.
A week from today the books will be on the road from Kentucky to me — all 66,000 pounds of them. That means just about two weeks to buy the book and receive a signed, numbered first edition.
Note: I will be speaking all about At Home — book and companion website — at the Free Library on Thursday, October 15 beginning at 7:30 PM. Hope to see you there.