boiling pot of water

After Thanksgiving with all the left over turkey, usually comes sandwiches, left-over turkey dinner, turkey soup, and what ever other traditional family recipes that you may have for post-Thanksgiving “Tom”.  But the most over looked parts of our favorite bird are aroma and fragrance.

Lets take a closer look at the turkey broth and its ingredients.  What do we have?….the infamous turkey carcass, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf, and water.  We put all these things in a big pot, bring it to a boil, and simmer for about 3-4 hours until we have a nice chicken- flavored broth.  But what did we forget??  How about smell, how do we capture that…smell is actually flavor, or water vapor, dissipating into the atmosphere robbing us of even more(turkey) flavor. There is a way and some call it distilling and some call it vacuum-concentration.

How Do We Capture Aroma?

    1. A Rotary Evaporator, or Rotovap, which is traditionally used in a chemistry lab and now into high-tech culinary labs.  The purpose is to extract the volatile aroma and flavor molecules from mixtures gently and at low temperatures.  In other words, to extract aroma without heating the mixture up.  A pretty awesome piece of equipment, but with a price tag of $40,000.
    2. On the Modernist Cuisine blog, the chefs over there put together a vacuum concentrating system, that requires a few parts, like a vacuum pump.  The pump alone is $2,000, though it is a pretty awesome set-up as well.
    3. Finally, the Nordic Food Lab put out a post called “distilled chicken”.  This contraption uses an old-school pressure cooker, some tubing, iced water, and science.

I am leaning towards the “distillation system” put forth by the Nordic Food Lab, not because I wouldn’t go out and get these beautiful post modern pieces of equipment.  It just happens that I already have a pressure cooker and a lot of ice.  This week I will put together my version of a their distiller and extract some ” lamb aroma”.

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