White cut chicken might just be my favourite thing in the universe, actually my niece is my favourite thing in the universe, but she’s less of a thing and more of a scrumptious little human who has cheeks like perfect peaches and masses of blonde hair. Anyway, I digress. White cut chicken is a pretty solid second.
After having a super special version of this dish at Supernormal, Andrew McConnell’s hot new Melbourne restaurant; I have become a little obsessed. The Supernormal incarnation is smothered in a black sesame sauce and spring onion oil and I truly could have eaten plate after plate. I was feeling rather rotund after masticating my way through half the menu but yet I could not stop eating it. Well, until Andrew McConnell took my plate away that is; I wish I could say that he took it without asking but he gently asked if we were finished and my goddamn Britishness swept in and I found myself answering ‘yes’ because, of course it would be rude to ask to keep the food which I was paying for and really, really enjoying eating. We British sure are polite/stupid.
So, once I had mourned the loss of those last two slices of chicken, I realised the only way to move forward was to go back and eat more of the stuff. And so, I did just that.
However, still not satisfied, when faced with a man who was whimpering and moping about the house with flu (for flu read a cold), the only sensible option was of course, to make white cut chicken. I had made it once before, many moons ago before I trained to be a chef and my hair turned white overnight. So, yesterday I found myself lowering a rather curvaceous chicken into a huge pot of spiced stock, the smell of star anise and spring onions instantly making me feel much better about the world. Once I had plunged the chicken into an ice bath, I reduced the stock to make a healing broth, which I served rather untraditionally with rice noodles and broccoli and an improvised spring onion oil on the side. The mess of tissues, blankets and gross bodily fluids of which my boyfriend is currently comprised was temporarily satisfied. I was also abundantly happy at the prospect of what I was going to make with all the leftovers.
Those leftovers tonight, became possibly an even better dish than yesterdays. Once I had picked all the meat off the bones, I roasted them until they were deep brown in colour and then reintroduced them to my lovely stock. After adding some more aromats, I reduced it by about a third and served a lovely fatty chicken broth alongside a rather virtuous Asian brown rice salad with masses of kale, broccoli, chilli and ginger. I should add that the prerequisite white cut chicken was languishing in the bottom of our steaming bowls of soup.
Food like this soothes my soul, it makes me heave contented sighs and feel grateful for all the lovely things in my life… Who knew that white cut chicken could make one so pensive? Powerful stuff this white cut chicken. Powerful stuff.