Quick Tip: Broth
Canned broth is indeed a timesaver, but its flavor pales in comparison to even the simplest homemade broth. But if you don't have much time, a quick chicken broth can be made using a combination of fresh and canned ingredients. Start with low-salt chicken broth (or unsalted if available). Use chicken pieces—anything you have on hand, from necks to breasts are fine. In fact, this is a great way to poach chicken breasts for cooked meat and enhance the flavors in the broth at the same time. Add the chicken pieces to the broth, bring to a slow boil, skim the top of any scum that rises. Then, if you are cooking chicken breasts for their meat, cover the pot and remove from the heat. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Remove the breasts and use as needed. The broth will be enriched by their flavor.
If using chicken necks, bones and/or wings, let them simmer slowly after the broth comes to a boil. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes to extract the flavors, skimming the top after it boils. Cracked bones will give off more flavor. Remove the bones and strain if necessary before using.
And, as we all know by now, the easiest way to remove fat is to refrigerate the broth until the fat solidifies. You can even keep cans of broth chilling in the refrigerator and remove the fat from them before using.
Another tip: to rescue an oversalted soup, add a sliced potato to the broth, simmer for ten minutes and then remove. The potato will help absorb the salt.
Did You Know...?
The original US home of Irish Coffee is in San Francisco at the Buena Vista Cafe. It was introduced there in 1953, when San Francisco Chronicle columnist Stanton Delaplane brought the recipe back from Ireland and gave it to proprietors Jack Koepler and George Freedberg. The Buena Vista, just a few steps away from Ghirardelli Square and situated at the end of a cable car line, is, to this day, constantly jammed with patrons sipping what accounts for nearly half of the establishment's business—and good luck even getting close to the door on St. Patrick's Day (March 17). To make your own Irish Coffee, add a shot of Irish whiskey to a mug of coffee, stir in a spoonful of sugar, top with whipped cream and, in some establishments, a douse of creme de menthe.
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