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How long can chicken be simmered before it falls apart?

Howard_2 Aug 23, 2011 05:43 AM

I have a recipe for "Orange Khoresh"--a Persian (Iranian) dish in which chicken pieces are simmered in liquid (orange juice, vinegar, lime juice, sugar).

The recipe calls for simmering chicken legs for a total of 1 hour 35 minutes!

It seems to me that simmering chicken for that long will turn it into mush.

Has anyone here ever simmered chicken for that long? If so, what were the results? Is it possible that this dish is *supposed* to turn the chicken into mush?

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  1. f
    fourunder RE: Howard_2 Aug 23, 2011 05:57 AM

    The Chinese method for braising a whole bird calls for immersing the poultry in a large pot of liquid, reaching the boiling point, cover the pot tightly and then turning the stove flame off completely for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the bird. This method allows for the bird to cook fully and evenly....while also allowing the braising liquid to permeate the flesh.

    In contrast, I baked chicken the other day and did not use a rack and also left it in the oven for about 45 minutes too long, or 2.5-2.75 hours total time, and the chicken raised in its own liquid......the chicken was mush as you describe. I would suggest you simply follow the recipe or start checking at 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    1. l
      luciaannek RE: Howard_2 Aug 23, 2011 11:13 AM

      Maybe this is a personal taste because it's my grandmother's recipe but she makes a braised chicken that cooks for three hours. I love it, and make it all the time. It falls off the bone, but it's a texture I like. Again, maybe this is because I grew up with it.

      So I guess I'd say you're in the clear. Maybe keep checking it as you go.

      2 Replies
      1. re: luciaannek
        jns7 RE: luciaannek Aug 23, 2011 12:43 PM

        Luciaannek, please do post your grandmother's recipe!

        1. re: jns7
          luciaannek RE: jns7 Aug 23, 2011 01:52 PM

          Not an exact recipe but here goes:
          Wash and dry a chicken.
          Put chunks of celery, onion, and carrot in a dutch oven.
          Stuff chicken with remaining celery, onion, carrot and lemon.
          Place chicken, breast down on the vegetables in the dutch oven.
          Drizzle chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
          Add whatever herbs you have around, thyme and sage are our favorites.
          Bake at 350 for 3 hours.
          Serve with mashed potatoes or whatever you have.

          I think of it as "braised" but it's basically half braised half roasted, because eventually the juices surround the chicken and braise it. Broasted?

      2. dave_c RE: Howard_2 Aug 23, 2011 11:27 AM

        Simmered for 1:35. I don't think it'll turn to mush. I suspect the chicken bones can be pulled of the meat, but the chicken meat wouldn't be disintegrating. The keyword is simmered..

        1. sbp RE: Howard_2 Aug 23, 2011 12:50 PM

          I make chicken soup all the time, and even after 4 or 5 hours of simmering, the meat is "fall off the bone" but not mush. In fact, the breast will eventually release most of its moisture to the soup and the meat will tighten up.

          1. twyst RE: Howard_2 Aug 23, 2011 01:57 PM

            A really really long time.

            Ive let chicken gumbo simmer for 6-7 hours and the meat was fine.

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