New Orleans Chicken-and-Mushroom Hash
Defrosting our old extra refrigerator one weekend, I discovered six–SIX!–whole chickens in there. “They were on sale!” said my wife. I started thinking of things to do with them, and realized I hadn’t made chicken hash in ages. I decided to start from scratch and see if I could come up with a New Orleans-style approach to this old American classic. It was good enough to make over and over. Now I wait until some of the bolete mushrooms that grow in the woods next to my house come up to do it. Of course, I have to go out and buy the chicken.
- 1 free-range chicken, about four pounds
- 1 large onion, cut up
- 4 ribs celery, cut up
- 1 Tbs. black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 4 Tbs. butter
- 3/4 cup flour
- 4 thick slices of smoky bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
- 1 cup coarsely-chopped fresh mushrooms
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, chopped into tiny dice
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs. salt-free Creole seasoning
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated bread crumbs
- 1 green onion, sliced finely
- 8 sprigs parsley, leaves only, chopped
1. Bring a gallon of water to a boil in a stockpot and add chicken, three-fourths of the onion, two ribs of celery, peppercorns, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and then lower to a simmer. Cook the chicken for one hour.
2. Remove the chicken and let it cool. Debone the chicken and remove skin. Chop the meat into half-inch dice. Strain the stock, dispose of the solid parts, and reserve a quart and a half of the stock. Save the rest for other uses.
3. Chop the reserved celery and onion.
4. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook to a blond roux. Add the bacon, mushrooms, bell pepper, chopped celery and chopped onion. Sauté in the roux for about four minutes.
5. Add diced chicken, Worcestershire, Creole seasoning, salt, and 6 cups chicken stock. Bring to a light boil and cook until almost all the liquid has been absorbed.
6. Stir in the green onions, parsley, and bread crumbs. Adjust seasonings with salt and black pepper to taste