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February/March 2011 Cook’s Country magazine

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:Replacing water with canned chicken broth was a no-brainer and provided a flavorful base for our Chicken and Slicks recipe. Rather than throw chicken parts into simmering broth, we browned them first to boost flavor. We used both white and dark meat to please tasters who preferred each, and stuck to bone-in pieces for the best flavor. We replaced the lard in our slicks with more readily available vegetable oil as well as some of the rendered fat from our chicken.Cooking the slicks in an already thickened broth caused them to break apart. To solve the problem, we cooked the slicks in the unthickened broth before adding toasted flour to thicken it. Briefly freezing the slicks before cooking them in the broth further helped prevent them from breaking apart.

Serves 4 to 6

If you’re short on chicken fat at the end of step 1, supplement it with vegetable oil.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), excess fat trimmed
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved crosswise
  •  Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 7 1/2cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4cup Chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Toast 6 tablespoons flour in Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer flour to medium bowl and wipe out pot. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken until well browned all over, about 10 minutes; transfer to plate. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin. Pour fat (you should have about 2 tablespoons) into another small bowl; reserve.

2. Add onion and 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty pot and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 7 cups broth, chicken, and bay leaves and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until white meat registers 160 degrees and dark meat registers 175 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer chicken to clean plate. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces, discarding bones.

3. Meanwhile, combine remaining chicken broth, reserved fat, and remaining oil in liquid measuring cup. Process remaining flour and ½ teaspoon salt in food processor until combined. With machine running, slowly pour in broth mixture and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide in half.

4. Following photos 1 to 3, roll each dough half into 10-inch square. Cut each square into twenty 5 by 1-inch rectangles. Place handful of noodles in single layer on parchment-lined plate, cover with another sheet of parchment, and repeat stacking with remaining noodles and additional parchment, ending with parchment. Freeze until firm, at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

5. Return broth to simmer and add noodles. Cook until noodles are nearly tender, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to separate. Remove 1 cup broth from pot and whisk into reserved toasted flour. Stir broth-flour mixture into pot, being careful not to break up noodles, and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add shredded chicken and parsley and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

MAKE AHEAD Broth and chicken can be made through step 2 and refrigerated in separate airtight containers for 2 days. Dough can be made through step 3, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated for 1 day. To finish, proceed with step 4.

FAT IS WHERE THE FLAVOR IS

RENDERED CHICKEN FAT

We bumped up the flavor of the slicks by using chicken broth and rendered chicken fat in the dough.

A SLICK PRODUCTION

Sure, making slicks requires a little time (although we minimize it by making the dough in the food processor). But the delicious result is definitely worth a bit of effort.

1. After kneading the dough briefly, roll each dough half into a 10-inch square of 1/8 inch thickness.

2. Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the dough into 5 by 1-inch rectangles.

3. Stack the slicks between layers of parchment and freeze briefly before simmering.

TOASTED FLOUR SLURRY

Flour-thickened stews usually start with a roux of flour cooked in fat to cook off the floury taste. But when we tried starting this recipe with a roux, the slicks failed to cook through in the viscous simmering broth. If we turned up the heat, they broke apart. If we added the flour at the end, our dinner tasted like raw flour. Finally, we got the idea to dry-toast the flour on the stovetop to cook off its raw flavor. We combined the toasted flour with broth to make a slurry, which we stirred into the pot once the slicks were tender at the end of cooking.

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