Chicken Consomme: Basic Clarification

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  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 2 quarts
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4 ounces lean ground beef

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1/4 cup finely sliced leek

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

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

1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped carrots

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


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ground meat with the onions, leeks, celery, carrots, thyme, tarragon, parsley, garlic, and black pepper. Puree on high speed.
  2. In a bowl, combine the egg whites with the pureed meat mixture. Stir well to blend.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.