Follow These Tips For A Perfect Poach
When it comes to all of the ways to prepare meat, poaching is typically ranked pretty low on the list. Many people think a poached chicken breast doesn’t have the flavor of a baked or sauteed one, and some think it would be simply sinful to poach a cut of beef. However, by following a few simple tips, culinary academy students can poach their meat for a tender, flavorful entree:
Don’t settle for water
While the traditional way to poach a cut of meat is to submerge it in hot water, that’s not the only way – and definitely not the best way – to go about it. Instead of using water next time you decide to poach meat, opt for wine or stock. Since this process of cooking can suck some of the flavor from the meat, cooking with a flavorful liquid is a good way to ensure it doesn’t turn out bland. Take the leftover liquid when you’re finished and make a sauce out of it to serve with your entree. In fact, according to Cook’s Info, this method of cooking was actually created so chefs could show off the sauce, as opposed to bringing out of the flavor of the meat itself.
Don’t let the liquid boil
Fish is one of the most commonly poached dishes for a reason. Fish is very delicate, so it needs a delicate method of cooking. Boiling the water or stock you’re cooking the fish in will cause it to fall apart. Make sure the water maintains enough heat to cook the fish, but never reaches a boil. Reluctant Gourmet suggests a temperature between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. There are also a couple different ways to heat the meat – shallow or deep poaching. When you shallow poach, you don’t cover the meat up all the way and put a lid on the pot so it steams. Deep poaching completely submerges the meat and doesn’t require a lid. Typically, your dish will have more flavor if it’s shallow poached.
Add some more flavor
Adding some herbs and spices to the liquid, or even vegetables with strong flavor like onions, can make a huge difference in the flavor your meat takes on. Many people choose to poach their meat because it doesn’t add any additional fat or calories like sauteeing in oil or butter does, but that doesn’t mean they have to settle for a lack of flavor!