Poaching food is a moist cooking method. It is the process of cooking food in a liquid containing water, milk, stock or wine. The food is normally cooked at a temperature below a boiling point. eg 75 – 93 oc.
COMMODITIES SUITABLE FOR POACHING.
- Whole fish and chicken.
- Portioned fish.
- Fresh and dried fruits.
REASONS FOR POACHING FOOD.
- To prepare foods in a tender form – breaking down the starch, cellulose and protein.
- Coagulate protein when poaching eggs.
- Presenting in a more palatable and digestible form.
- Making food safer to eat by destroying bacteria capable of causing food poisoning.
- Producing a particular form of food in terms of quality, colour, flavour and texture.
METHODS OF POACHING FOOD.
We have two methods of poaching foods. They are as follows:
- Deep poaching: In this method, the food is covered with the minimum quality of liquid and then gently cooked.
- Shallow poaching: Here, the food is slightly covered with the poaching liquid and cooked gently undercover in an oven. This is a more complex method of cooking as the cooking liquid is reduced down and forms the base of the accompanying sauce. Most classic African meals are produced in this form.
UTENSILS USED FOR POACHING FOODS.
- In deep poaching, you can use saucepans, shallow-sides pots, fish kettles.
- While in shallow poaching, use plat a sauters or shallow – sided cooking dishes.
KEY POINTS WHEN POACHING FOOD.
- Use reduced sugar syrups when poaching fruits.
- Discard any surface fat as it forms.
- Keep liquid content to a minimum when deep poaching to ensure that important nutrients are not lost.
- Check at interval