I don’t know about you, but I hate cooking just for myself. That’s why I turn to alternatives, which leads to me gaining weight and being unhappy…and so on.
Then, I decide to make something healthy and tasty, but still not spend the entire day by the stove cause I need to leave some of that motivation for the next day, too.
That’s how I made the base for a couple of days, and with it this pottage in which I put only seasonal vegetables…leek, carrot, onion…
The base of any pottage can be water, but this is not the case in French cuisine. The pottage base is vegetable soup or chicken soup. Of course, this vegetable soup should mostly be made out of vegetables you won’t to use for your pottage, so that it adds a bit of special taste.
I made a chicken base. Of course, it’s best to use local free range chicken. I must admit that since I have been living in France, it has never been easier to find local, quality meat.
…and let’s go back to the base
The French make it very simple – chicken drumstick with thigh and a couple of wings, and if you have additional clean chicken breast, that’s even better.
They put a lot of shallot, half a smaller onion, parsnip, carrot, celery stalk, bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme, the green part of leek, parsley – I had chervil, It’s very similar).
What’s interesting is that the French do not put carrots into the base. They say it’s too sweet. If they do put it, they only put half of it. If they get up courage to put an entire one, then they remove the middle part of the carrot.
I already had one carrot chopped into rings so I did’t remove the middle part.
They also rarely put parsnip, or again in very small quantities. But since I am from the Balkans, I had to put a bit of parsnip, too.
First, stew the vegetables on oil (neutral, a spoon), but without colorization. Then, add chicken pieces (cut the chicken in 5-7 cm pieces with a meat chopper so that the base’s taste is maximized) and stew everything together for 1 minute. Here it’s important to wash the chicken bones well if you are going to put them into the base and remove the internal organs. If you don’t do it, your base will be bitter.
Now it’s time to pour the water over so that the meat sinks in it. Once the base starts boiling, foam will appear on the surface. You must remove the foam and throw it away, together with all the grease that gathers on the surface during the first 40 minutes of base cooking.
…cooking of the base…
Cook the base for 30-40 minutes from when it first starts to boil. After that, strain and put it away for all the sauces, soups and broths…you will certainly need it for multiple purposes. Sometimes I freeze the base in bags and use it when I need it.
Freezing is a very good thing. When I was home for the New Year’s, I made quite a lot of base-soup for my men, packed it and froze with the help of this. Now they take it out and have homemade soup while mom is away 🙂
….the topic of base always escapes somehow…
Take the meat that was cooking in the base off the bones, and chop it into small pieces. We will use it for the vegetable pottage. That’s how you get an entire meal, meat plus vegetables.
I spice the base only when it’s needed. So, in this phase, my base does not need salt or pepper.
My vegetables were carrot and leek. While the base was cooking, I prepared the carrot and leek. This means I cleaned them, peeled them, chopped them and stew them a bit. Again without colorization. When you put the leek in some dish – if you don’t want the dish to get the green color tone, then use only the white part of the leek, and vice versa. Didn’t want the green tone.
I mixed two types of carrots, the classic orange one and the yellow one. I added salt, white pepper, piment d’espelette , a bit of turmeric. Then I added the base and cooked it all together until the carrot softened. This did not last more than 15 minutes, because the carrot was thinly cut.
I mixed it all together with a stick mixer and added the amount of base needed to get the wanted thickness for the pottage at the same time.
One part of the leek (5 cm closer to the tail part because of the color) I cut into rings and stewed for 2 minutes on butter. I used this for decoration on the surface of the base.
And when you do all this…
What’s left at the end is just to set the table, pour the vegetable pottage in your favorite plate, add the chopped chicken from the base and leek sautee rings on butter 🙂
Bon Appétit and enjoy!
If you have any questions, I will happily answer them 🙂