More Flavor

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mariop, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. mariop

    mariop

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    I have a chicken and noodle dish I make that has a very good flavor. The problem is I want more of the flavor. I am looking for some advice on how to make the flavor stronger.

    I cut up fajita sized white chicken meat and fry it hot in a frying pan with a little olive oil, garlic, onions, salt and pepper until slightly browned and tender. I also fry some garlic and onions on the side.

    I take another frying pan, pour a can of chicken broth, add the fried onions and garlic I fried with the chicken then bring to a boil. Once it boils I add some red wine and wait for it to boil again. I reduce the heat and simmer until it reduces to about a third of what I started with. I may add some corn starch if it is not the consistency I am looking for (Slightly thickened).

    I boil some bow tie noodles, drain well and throw it all together. It has a great taste but not powerful enough. Does anyone have any ideas or methods to bring more of this flavor out? Either will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mariop
     
  2. alergkvegtarian

    alergkvegtarian

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    I've added Turmeric and Sage to my Chicken Soup to give it more flavour. Turmeric adds an almost eggy flavour to dishes. Sage enhances Chicken. Together, they make a dish have more of a chicken flavour. Often, I'll add Rosemary and Cilantro to this as well.
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Why 2 frying pans ? Cook the onion garlic chicken then just add the chicken stock to it, then thicken.all in same pan to retain any fond that developed.

         I hope you are using fresh and not dry herbs  like thyme, bay leaf, rosemary, dill all of these will enhance flavors. And if possible use white wine(more delicate a taste)
     
  4. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Funny in your other post you claim to be a vegetarian??Do to Alergies
     
  5. mariop

    mariop

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    You must be mistaken chefedb. I joined and posted my first thread on this site last night. I am about as carnivorous as they come. Thanks all for the ideas, I'll give them a try.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  6. mariop

    mariop

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    Oh, I forgot. I use two pans because white meat gets kind of rubbery if it is cooked to long. I like it to stay tender.
     
  7. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    You're trying to make chicken soup from boxed or canned stock, but you don't quite understand the process of working with an already made stock. Your first mistake is trying get more chicken flavor in the stock by adding pre-cooked white meat and further cooking it. All that happens is that you lose the very delicate flavor of the chicken, and get no gain for the stock..

    Stock on the stove, reducing to concentrate the flavor. Make any liquid additions you care to make. Ideally you want to reduce at a "very close to boiling" simmer; but you can reduce at a bare boil if you're in a hurry. How long it will take to get the flavor you want, depends on the flavor you want, the shape of your pan, and how much stock you're using. Plan on reducing by one quarter as a starting point.

    Meanwhile prepare your aromatics (aka the vegetables) by peeling and cutting into whatever size you want in your soup.

    Preheat whichever pan you'll use to assemble the soup over a medium-high flame. When the pan is hot, add a little oil or butter and swirl it until it's shimmering -- i.e., hot enough to sear/saute. Sear the the skinless, boneless chicken half-breast(s) until they "release" on their own, turn and repeat, then cook until barely done. If you're using more than one half-breast, don't overcrowd the pan. Work in batches if you have to. When the chicken is just barely cooked through, remove and reserve. Pour off any extra liquid from the pan.

    Return the pan to the heat, refresh the oil and/or butter so there's an appropriate amount (doesn't need much). Saute the aromatics until they're fragrant and barely tender. If some take longer to cook than others, start those first. Again, don't overcrowd the pan and work in batches if you have to. Remove the aromatics from the pan and plate appropriate servings in bowls. Reserve any extra.

    Cut the chicken into appropriate sized pieces, and add the pieces to the bowls, also reserving any extra.

    Taste the reduced stock for flavor. When it has enough, remove the stock from the heat and return the pan used for the chicken and aromatics to the fire. When the pan is hot, pour enough of the reduced stock into the pan to deglaze by scraping the bottom of the pan with a metal spoon while the liquid boils. When the pan is deglazed, add the remaining stock. When the stock is simmering, taste and adjust for seasoning.

    Pour the stock into the bowls on top of the chicken and vegetables, garnish with minced fresh parslery and/or thyme if desired, serve.

    Add the reserved aromatics and chicken to the remaining stock for seconds or leftovers.

    By viewing the soup as an "assemblage" rather than an ordinary steeping; and throwing three fundamental techniques, reduction, sear and saute, you can concentrate and add depth to the flavors.

    Good luck,
    BDL
     
  8. teamfat

    teamfat

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    You can remove the chicken pieces when they are almost done, do the broth and veggies thing, then add the chicken meat at the end to finish.

    mjb.
     
  9. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Sorry it was meant for Alergkvegetarian.
     
  10. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    You can definitely get more flavor out of this dish but altering a couple of things.  Firstly, use only one pan.  Do this and you've doubled your flavor already.  The reason is that as you sautee the chicken and the onions/garlic it leaves these little burnt bits on the bottom that are called fond.  Fond is the fondation of flavor hehe!  Here's what I would do to bring more flavor to your existing dish:

    1. Make sure the chicken is not wet.  Pat it dry with paper towels and season with salt/pepper.

    2. Put a little olive oil in a pan (do not use nonstick!) and throw the chicken in when it's very hot.  Don't move the chicken around too much.  Turn over only once then remove the chicken to dish.  It's ok if the chicken is not cooked through.

    3. Look at the sticky brown stuff in the pan.  Yum.  Add a little olive oil and throw in the onions and garlic.  Reduce the heat to medium low and let them cook slowly until the onions become translucent and soft and almost caramelized.

    4. Add a teaspoon of flour to the onions and stir and let it cook for about a minute or 2 further.

    5. Deglaze the pan by adding a couple of shot glasses of WHITE wine, not red.  Then add your chicken stock and let it reduce as you have. 

    6. Throw the chicken back in, drain your pasta well and toss the pasta directly into the sauce.  Voila.

    Now, I would personally change a few things, here's how.  I would not use white meat, I'd probably use skinless thighs - more flavorful, and they won't dry out easily.  I would also not cut it so thin, I'd like bigger chunks for the same reason.

    Then in step 3, I would add some chili pepper or chili flakes to the onions, as well as a dried herb like thyme or herbs de provence. 

    I would not add flour or cornstarch because the pasta provides lots of starch.

    Right before I toss in the pasta I would add a good pat of butter into the sauce and stir through, gives excellent flavor and a nice glossy finish to the sauce.  I would also toss in a fresh herb like parsley or spring onion.  Lots of parmesan cheese too.
     
  11. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Sorry for the repetition, but the first rule of making soup more flavorful is to reduce the stock. Doubling down on the pan will help, as will changing out white meat for dark but those changes are nowhere near as important as reducing the stock.

    Reduce, saute, deglaze, assemble.

    BDL
     
  12. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    A caution on the reducing of the stock. Use a very low sodium pre-fab stock as reducing will concentrate the sodium making the stock too salty.
     
  13. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Probably one of the reasons to make your own stock!
     
     
  14. alergkvegtarian

    alergkvegtarian

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    I am. However, this was before I became allergic to Chicken. Adult Onset. Now I'm allergic by smell to chicken. I was told that those who are allergic to chicken coops and feathers as kids, often become allergic to chicken meat as adults. I so wish this weren't true as I still miss real chicken.
     
  15. Iceman

    Iceman

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    BDL, the sage that he is, is correct in his points. One(1) idea that I haven't seen touched upon is that of using "canned stock". I'm not opposed at all, but there is a point of trickiness involved. Even if the label claims "low sodium", you will still be concentrating the sodium included. You need to be careful about seasoning when reducing. Over-saltiness can kill the bageebies out of a good thing. I like to season at the end, and I always go very easy on the salt. It doesn't ever bother me if anyone wants to add their own salt after being served. I use the less-preferred(?) parts to make stock; wings, necks and backs. I don't know, for a whole lot of reasons, probably mostly because of being lazy, I use a lot of boxed-stock. I use the regular known suspects, Kitchen Basics, Swanson, grocery "house brand", whatever. The real way to boost flavor is reduction. Maybe though think about the fact that chicken stock flavor is on the lighter side of profiles. We aint'e talking BBQ here. 

    edit: I started typing this post very early this am. (3:30-ish), and didn't finish until just now. I didn't see the last few posts.

    LOL @ Me I guess. 
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  16. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Add some mushrooms and soy which will address the umami level. Nam pla would also help accomplish this. Finishing the dish with a gastric will also boost flavor.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  17. jimbo68

    jimbo68

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    I agree on the salted stock.  When I do not have my own, I buy one called Kitchen Basics, no salt.  Reducing any salted product just concentrates the salt.
     
  18. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I hardly ever salt stock when I make it, when I do I know what the final product will be and often add stuff that will work with the end result.  To be honest there is almost always a boxed stock in the fridge, as well as a jar or two of Better than Bullion.  Bullion cubes are lightly flavored salt blocks, BtB is nicely flavored salt paste.  Once I did reduce a broth made with the jar stuff - yuck.

    mjb.
     
  19. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I never add salt to stock. Peppercorns yes herbs and spice yes. All foods contain on their own some kinds of inert salts and for me thats enough. When the stock finds it way to a sauce or soup, then I use some seasalt to finish off.
     
  20. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I'm starting to get the feeling that new members are not welcome around here.  Why must all threads go off in tangents and bickering?  It's no wonder new OP's high tail it out of here. They are either being directly attacked for their questions or are being completely ignored while others bicker and rant.

    The OP was only using a can of stock, I highly doubt Mariop was intending to make soup.  This is a pasta dish.  There are perfectly fine store bought stocks out there that can be used in this application.