Like, You Know, Whatever

There’s nothing quite so problem-solving as a chicken carcass in the fridge. Especially if it was spatchcocked, meaning the back is still raw and thus able to add extra collagen and unctch to the resulting stock. A few carrots (still those I dug before the freeze, though almost depleted), a piece of parsnip, half an onion, a dried shiitake, and some herbs made for a good base. I tossed in smashed garlic and ginger with about 30 minutes to go, and soaked some bean thread noodles.

While this had its rendezvous with destiny, I sautéed some king oyster and maitake mushrooms (first the one, then the other, later) with lardo and garlic until well-inflected with mahogany, and then added scallion, ponzu, white wine and some of the stock to reduce and sap the last resistance from the oyster stems. I removed them to a bowl and besprinkled of the minced cilantro.

In the selfsame pan went a chiffonade of black kale, with more stock to finish. I simmered the noodles for a minute, then ladled them into bowls. Topped with stock, our own kimchi, kale, then fanned slices of our new duck prosciutto, it began to resemble good food. A glug of shoyu and a dollop of homemade sambal oelek for extra bass and treble helped it along. (These two added after the picture).

First of all, these mushrooms. The umamitude was off the freaking charts; they had all the pupil-dilating, glutamatious whallop of a bag of BBQ-flavored potato chips. Impossible to stop wolfing. The cured, salty duck against the tangy, salty kimchi and heavily redolent sambal, with a chickeny-noodley foundation? Very nice. The crunch, and slurp, and chew, and heat, and tang, and depth, and bright garnishes. Handsome indeed, and more fetching still against the diaphanous yellow backdrop of a 2004 Bernhard Eifel Schweicher Annaberg Riesling “Alte Reben Vom Roten Schiefen.” (Which means “You can see Poland from my house!”)

It was kind of a lovely, snowy day today, after four days of beautiful, cold sunshine; winter is not without its beauty and soups like this do their part to make it even better. Having said that, I’m counting the days until it’s over.

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  1. cook eat FRET

    i love this post
    great writing that i want to steal
    gorgeous food that i want to eat

    i nominated you for a bloggie – best food and best kept secret. spiteful i nominated for funniest because well, i gotta say – that girl is a trip.

  2. Ant Kendall

    Hey Pete, great looking dish! Bang up my street and I'm beginning to miss Asia now that I'm 5 months into my Catalan immersion. Would love to hear how you made the Duck prosciutto (is it in the blog somewhere). I've found a friendly local butcher and I'm trying to milk him for all his knowledge too! Will be posting on the subject soon. Regards

  3. We Are Never Full

    i'm w/ claudia on this post. it is a beautiful dish and would never be anything i'd even know how to come up w/. happy new year, peter.

    i'm w/ you on the countdown…

  4. The Spiteful Chef

    What is a "well-inflected" mushroom, and why do I want to eat one so badly? I feel a kinship to you right now, because I had Asian soup for dinner last night, too. Except that mine was hot and sour soup because sometimes you just NEED hot and sour soup, and also because I'm super-pedestrian like that.

  5. peter

    Claudia: Thanks…

    Ant: Cool- yes,there are some mentions of the prosciutto, though maybe not so technique-specific. Just score the fat and pack the breast in salt mixed with herbs and spices to taste for 24 hours (not more) and then rinse, wrap in cheesecloth, and hang for a couple of weeks in a cool place.

    Amy: To you too- and here's to spring's quick arrival.

    Kristie: You should try these mushrooms.

  6. The Short (dis)Order Cook

    I like how you just expanded everyone's vocabulary – "umamitude".

    I love having my raw chicken backbones saved for soup!

  7. peter

    SdOC: I've used it before, but I'm pretty sure I made it up. Either way, it fits the bill.

  8. Miss jane

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