Chicken Consomme: Basic Clarification
- 4 ounces lean ground beef
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1/4 cup finely sliced leek
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme (stems and leaves)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon (stems and leaves)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (stems and leaves)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 8 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- 8 cups chicken stock, defatted
- Optional Garnishes:
- Sour cream, for garnish
- Chopped chives, for garnish
- Lemon slices, for garnish
- Toast points, for garnish
- Diced seeded tomato and finely shredded basil leaves
- Thinly sliced mushrooms and minced fresh parsley or chervil
- Small, thin bread rounds topped with finely shredded Parmesan and toasted
- Diced carrots and fresh peas
- Finely shredded savory crepes
- Lettuce/chervil chiffonade
- Shredded leeks lightly Sauteed in butter
In a bowl, combine the egg whites with the pureed meat mixture. Stir well to blend.
Place the stock in a large pot and add the "raft" (the pureed meat-egg white mixture). Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent the raft from sticking to the bottom and sides of the pot. (Once the stock has come to a boil, do not stir again.) Reduce to a simmer and puncture a hole in the center of the raft for the stock to circulate through and clarify. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Gently poke a hole in the raft large enough to fit a ladle. With a ladle, gently scoop out the consomme into a clean pot or bowl. Strain through a layer of cheesecloth to finish clarifying.
Serve hot with desired garnish. Alternatively, transfer consomme to a shallow bowl or roasting pan and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, covering with plastic wrap only when the consomme is cool enough that no condensation forms on the plastic. When the consomme is completely cooled, cut it into 1/2-inch cubes and divide between consomme cups. Garnish with sour cream, chopped chives, and a lemon slice and serve with toast points.
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