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This recipe can be used to make consomme or stock. For a stock you will not need the egg whites, but otherwise proceed as for consomme, stopping before the egg whites are added. This is clearly stated in the instructions below.

Serves 6
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 2 ½ hours

Ingredients

  • 1 cooked chicken carcass, skin and fat removed.  If you don’t have a carcass, a few pieces of cooked chicken such as wings and legs will do.
  • 1 onion, skin on, halved [the onion skin gives the consommé a beautiful golden colour]
  • 1 carrot, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 whole garlic clove, skin on
  • Small handful fresh tarragon
  • Large handful flat leaf parsley, leaves and stalks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 egg whites
  • Salt and pepper

Place all the ingredients, except the egg whites and salt and pepper, in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil gently 1 ½ – 2 hours, ensuring that all the ingredients are always just covered in water [you made to top up with a little water every now and then].

Strain the stock through a large colander into a bowl, ensuring you reserve the liquid. Discard the chicken and vegetables. Return the liquid to the saucepan,add salt and pepper to taste, bring back to the boil and let simmer until reduced by approximately ¼.

[If you want to make chicken stock, stop at this point and you have your stock. If you want to proceed to completing the consomme recipe, continue as below].

Allow the liquid to cool down, then place in the refrigerator for an hour. Skim any fat from the surface then add the egg whites and whisk thoroughly.

Bring the liquid to the boil whisking all the time. Simmer gently for 15 minutes until the egg whites form a crust on the surface.

Line a sieve with a piece of clean, unused muslin or a damp tea towel and place the sieve over a bowl. Gently ladle the egg white crust into the sieve and then slowly ladle the liquid over the crust, allowing time for the liquid to slowly pass through the crust and sieve before adding any more. DO NOT FORCE THE STOCK THROUGH.

Discard the egg white crust. Return the clear liquid which has accumulated in the bowl to the saucepan and reheat but don’t let it boil. It is now ready to serve.

If not serving immediately, cool the soup and refrigerate until required.