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Chicken poaching, leftover liquid, what to do?

What should I do with my leftover chicken poaching liquid? I poach chicken with onion and garlic. I stagger the addition of the the chicken parts so they just cooked. The resulting broth is very light. I could use it instead of water to make chicken broth, or to cook beans. I would like to cut out the additonal broth step, and use it as is. Your ideas are appreciated.

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  1. Poaching liquid is one thing that I throw out--unless I have enough bones to immediately make a stock.

    2 Replies
    1. Seems like it might be too flavorless to use as is, unless, as you say, to cook beans. Next time, poach in chicken stock and all you'll have to do is defat and use.

      I often add a couple of tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon chicken to pasta water and poaching water instead of salt. In addition to your onion and garlic, maybe add celery, carrots, parsley, and veg trimmings from your freezer, and you've got a more flavorful broth to start with. Strain the spent veggies, defat, reduce if necessary.

      1. Be French and reductionist and get saucy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mrbozo

          I also suggest that you train yourself to be reductionary. The broth you describe should probably be reduced by 80% (i.e. 5 ups down to 1 cup) and add a pinch of sea salt.

        2. I normally poach my chicken in a light chicken stock and the use the leftovers to start a slow cooked Chinese soup.

          Remove the bones and used vegetables and add new ingredients (like Chinese herbs) and cook for hours. Then you have a slow fired soup. But do make during the summer. Why too hot.

          1. I eat poached chicken a lot ( usually the thighs on the bone). I freeze it and re use it to poach again. Until I feel that the broth is strong enough to use as chicken broth. This usually takes 2-3 poachings.

            1. I use it to make rice or risotto.

              9 Replies
              1. re: ricepad

                I'll second that. Basically that's what Hainese chicken rice is -- poached chicken and rice made with the chicken broth rendered from cooking the chicken.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  For Hainese chicken rice you will need to reduce the chicken fat for the flavor and color. You need to do both for the best results.

                  1. re: yimster

                    Can you please explain what "reducing the chicken fat" means?

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      Sorry, used the wrong word. You take the chicken fat and place in a pan and heat to get the oil of fat, remove piece of fat and then cook the rice with the chicken stock. Not sure of the word I should of use. This way I do not write recipes. I learned by doing not writing down recipes. Let me think on the recipe and if it comes out right I will post it.

                      1. re: yimster

                        I see. Thanks for the explanation. I understand what you're trying to say. I also don't write recipes and sometimes have a difficult time either verbalizing it or writing it down.

                        I've also seen Hainese chicken rice made with lard instead of the chicken fat. You're probably going to think it's an anathema, but I don't use too much fat in my rice when I make it at home as I try to keep it on the leaner side.

                        1. re: yimster

                          I think the word you are looking for is "rendering". When you take solid fat heat it up until it becomes liquid and then remove any bits that didn't liquify.

                          1. re: sweetie

                            The bits that don't liquefy are grivenies. They come mostly from skin, but the miscellaneous connective tissue that remains when fat is rendered is what they really are -- with a tiny bit of salt, the very best eating in the world. Few people get to taste them, because the cook gets them as a special treat.

                            1. re: sweetie

                              Thanks that is the word I was trying to think of. As a few friends have said 'you cook much better than you write, but that not hard to do".

                    2. re: ricepad

                      Good idea. I don't like the taste of the broth to be overwhelming in risotto.

                    3. You can use it de-glaze a pan to make a sauce or reduction.

                      1. You could always just freeze it and use it as part of the liquid next time you make stock. If you actually do make stock.
                        Other than that, use it for rice or something where you'd normally use water. Light or not, it'll still taste better than straight water.


                        1. I like to cook Mexican rice with the stock left over from poaching the chicken used to make tacos or enchiladas.

                          1. I decided to substitute the liquid for water to make the one hour broth for the Gingered Chicken Soup recipe here on Chow. The poaching liquid had been sitting for 5 days in the fridge. It turned out phenomenally well. I took the oppurtunity to teach my niece and nephews to put a pat of butter into their soup at the table for a boost of flavor.