As you may recall, I made chicken soup several days ago. I served the dark meat in my initial meal, then I had broth and white meat left over. Recycling the white meat always presents me with more of a challenge than the dark meat. The dark meat reheats so much better than the white meat and stays moister in general.
I usually re-cycle the breast on a salad for lunch. But this time of year, I am more in the mood for something hot than a salad. The breast, if it is to be reheated at all, must be reheated very gently and in some sort of liquid medium. It’s fine, of course, to simply assemble more broth and boiled vegetables to make more soup out of the remaining breast meat. I’m in the mood, however, to do something more creative than that.
That is where the concept of “in umido” comes in. All it means is a “wet” dish. In this case, I’ve made a refined little sauce in which to reheat my sliced chicken breasts. Along with the sauce, I will make some stuffing in the style of my neighbor Beppi (see my prior post “Rotolo di Tacchino”). Instead of stuffing a turkey breast, I’ll simply prepare the stuffing and bake, uncovered in a casserole at 375 degrees for a half-hour.
The main lesson in this post is how to improvise an elegant, easy sauce in which to reheat any kind of poultry. The sauce begins with some onions and reconstituted dried porcini sauteed in oil and butter, along with a rosemary sprig. When the vegetables begin to sweat and soften, add a touch of flour and saute until the flour is no longer raw. Then add some white wine and reduce. Then add broth and some of the mushroom soaking liquid and simmer for a short while to allow the flavors to meld.
At this point, the sauce is done and can wait for you to add the breast meat (already sliced) and simmer on low heat briefly until it’s heated through.
It’s nice to have some mashed potatoes or other mashed root vegetables on the side to soak up the sauce, but in my meal tonight, I’m in the mood for stuffing. On the side, I’m serving some simple boiled brussels sprouts and carrots.
Pollo in Umido
1/2 medium onion, diced finely
1/2 oz. dried porcini, soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes, then removed and squeezed dry, soaking water reserved and strained through a coffee filter.
1 tbl butter
1 tbl olive oil
1 sprig rosemary
1 tbl flour
1/2 c white wine
2 c chicken broth or stock
1 tbl chopped fresh parsley
2 large halves of a poached chicken breast (or 4 small ones), sliced thinly
Melt butter in oil and on low heat, saute onion until soft and beginning to turn golden (about 10 minutes). Add rosemary sprig and porcini and continue sauteing for about 2 – 3 minutes. Add flour and stir to incorporate over low heat for about 5 minutes. Turn up the flame, pour in wine and reduce by half (about 5 minutes). Add broth and about a 1/2 cup of porcini soaking liquid and simmer for about 10 – 12 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Place sliced breasts in sauce and simmer on very low heat for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve.