The Mehu-Liisa steam juicer from Finland is an excellent tool for cooking meats. I find that steaming is my favorite preparation for chicken. It almost always yields very tender, flavorful results. The benefit of using the Mehu-Liisa is that the process yields highly flavorful, almost concentrated stock that can be drawn off into sanitized canning jars and processed in a pressure canner for storage or stored in the refrigerator for use within a week or so. It can be diluted 50/50 with water for soup base or used full strength in sauce and gravy recipes. A recipe for steamed chicken and chicken-vegetable-herb stock follows:
I started by gathering all my ingredients:
1 4-7 lb chicken, as fresh as possible
1 celery bunch, cleaned and chopped in half
1 lb carrots, washed and chopped in chunks
3 medium onions cut into quarters (clean skin left on for color in broth)
1 large garlic bulb (or 2-3 smaller), cloves separated and smashed (no need to peel or chop)
1.5 lbs tomatoes, left whole if small, quartered if large
1 large bunch of parsley
4 large sprigs (6-7 inches long) of rosemary
salt and pepper
Rinse your chicken, pat it dry, and salt and pepper inside and out. Assemble the ingredients in the steamer basket of the Mehu-Liisa. First the carrots and celery, then the onions and garlic, and finally, the herbs, chicken and tomatoes.
While you prep your ingredients, set the water pan on the stove and bring it to a boil. Just a steady boil, no need for a rolling, furious boil! You may risk boiling your pan dry! Set your prepared ingredients into the juicer kettle and place the lid on top. Set your timer for the allotted duration.
I first set the timer to 60 minutes but when I checked the chicken after 40 minutes, it was done. The thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the breast read 165 degrees. Perfect. I removed the bird from the steamer and brought my oven up to 450 degrees to brown the skin (10 minutes was fine). I sprinkled a little paprika on the skin to add some color.
On the left are the spent veggies and herbs. I let them sit for about half an hour with the lid on and then drained off 1.75 quarts of very tasty, savory broth. Perfect for gravy!!
The finished bird was very moist, and had a wonderful herby flavor, not over powering, that permeated the meat. I ate the two legs and thighs for dinner and will be making chicken tortilla soup with the breast meat or perhaps chicken tacos with tomatillo sauce!
I hope you get a chance to try this recipe with your Mehu-Liisa steam juicer. I know you will love it. Keep your eye out for more steamed meat recipes here on the blog. And, as always, please let me know if you have any questions or tips and recipes to share.