In a continuing series of Hot Food Porn's guide on How To Cook Ramps Like a Pornstar, last night I went simple and classic with my dish. I mean, most of the time when I'm testing recipes and such, I really want to create items for the sole purpose of professional curiosity. But sometimes its good to go back to basics because people get tired of the overly produced stuff with the fake boobs, ridiculous make-up, and weird equipment - just like how they get tired of the altering textures, ridiculous make-up spices and weird equipment in cooking as well.
Lesson #4: People like to go back to basics, which is why they like watching amateur stuff.
Visavis, I think there's an anti fake boob movement out there. L.A. water balloons are falling of favor it seems, but I digress...for a long time.
Onto the food:
Poached Chicken Breast with Creamy Ramp and Spring Onion Soup
Essentially, this is a glorified chicken soup for the soul. It's simple, it's beautiful and it's so comforting and savory. Was that a Rachael Ray or a Giada line? Hmm...why did I type that?
All you need to do is set your water/stock with the cut onions, herbs, celery and then poach your chicken in it. Poaching an entire chicken is a craft that is very much about timing. You can make it a science with a temp gauge, but I guarantee you that I never use one. How does it happen? Stock comes to a boil, chicken goes in, stays in slow simmering boiling stock for 15 - 25 minutes (depending on size of chicken), then turn off the fire and let it sit in the pot for the next 2-3 hours. Say it after me everyone, SET IT AND FORGET IT!!! Massive applause.
The chicken will slowly cook on its own and by the time you come back for it, it should be a perfectly done. Presto magic. Anyone who has cut a slow poached chicken leg before will know that when you cut it, the meat is all done, but the veins/marrow may still be brown/red and leak some of that color onto the meat. Don't freak out, you can just dip the leg into a little boiling stock to clean it up if you are a wuss, but you can also refrigerate the whole chick before cutting so that the vein stays intact and won't bleed or anything. Check the flesh and if it looks ready, the chicken is ready. Make sure you season the chicken thoroughly after it is poached and still hot.
Once you are done poaching, strain the liquid in a chinois (you don't have to use all the stock for the soup, you can save 1/2 for other things), bring to a boil, add ramps and then puree. Strain again, season to taste, add a little cream, adjust seasoning again and you are doneski. Not only do you have a wonderful creamy ramp soup, you have an entire healthy poached chicken (no oil, no fat other than chicken's natural fat) to eat throughout the week and you also have some more stock to use for another soup or noodles.
Onto the pics: (I'd normally cut the chicken up into bite sized pieces and serve in soup bowl, but this is just a picture for effect. You get the idea.)