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Chicken Consomme: Basic Clarification

  • Yield: 2 quarts


  • 4 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced leek
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme (stems and leaves)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon (stems and leaves)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (stems and leaves)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 8 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 8 cups chicken stock, defatted
  • Diced seeded tomato and finely shredded basil leaves
  • Thinly sliced mushrooms and minced fresh parsley or chervil
  • Small, thin bread rounds topped with finely shredded Parmesan cheese and toasted
  • Diced carrots and fresh peas
  • Finely shredded savory crepes
  • Lettuce/chervil chiffonade
  • Shredded leeks lightly sautÈed in butter


  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ground meat with the onions, leeks, celery, carrots, thyme, tarragon, parsley and garlic. Puree on high speed.
  • In a bowl, combine the egg whites with the pureed meat mixture. Stir well to blend.
  • Place the stock in a large pot and add the “raft” (the pureed meat-egg white mixture). Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent the raft from sticking to the bottom and sides of the pot. (Once the stock has come to a boil, do not stir again.) Reduce to a simmer and puncture a hole in the center of the raft for the stock to circulate through and clarify. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Gently poke a hole in the raft large enough to fit a ladle. With a ladle, gently scoop out the consommé into a clean pot or bowl. Strain through a layer of cheesecloth to finish clarifying.
  • Serve hot with desired garnish. (Alternatively, transfer consommé to a shallow bowl or roasting pan and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, covering with plastic wrap only when the consommé is cool enough that no condensation forms on the plastic. When the consommé is completely cooled, cut it into 1/2-inch cubes and divide between consommé cups. Garnish with sour cream, chopped chives and a lemon slice and serve with toast points.)