[Photograph: Maren Caruso]

Like many recipes in Daniel Patterson's Coi cookbook, the recipes for Chicken and Egg implores you to start three days ahead. But really, if you're starting with homemade stocks, you'll likely need to start four days ahead. I'd suggest that you ignore the impulse to roll your eyes and skip it, and just accept the nature of the beast. The final dish is just that impressive. Plus, most of the work is totally hands-off.

Today, we'll break down the stock and seaweed powder needed to accent the dish, and tomorrow we'll show you how to assemble the plate. The sauce for this Chicken and Egg dish is built upon Patterson's multilayered all-purpose (or AP) stock, a mix of duck, veal, and pork bones. Because his stock is made from a variety of animal parts, it is a blank canvas for all kinds of meat-based dishes. It takes a while (12-24 hours), but, again, is mostly hands-off. Likewise, the seaweed powder requires a bit of attention to start, as you'll want to watch the simmering kombu carefully to avoid scorching the pot, but doesn't ask for any work while it is re-hydrating. Is the flavor boost added during this process worth the wait? You'll have to do a side-by-side and tell me; I loved the sweet flavor of the enhanced kombu.

Why I picked this recipe: Honestly, I picked this recipe for the egg cooking technique (which I'll break down tomorrow), but the prospect of learning to make seaweed powder sounded pretty great, too.

What worked: A good all-purpose stock recipe and a new technique for making an umami-filled garnish? Count this as two wins.

What didn't: Nothing.

Suggested tweaks: I found that I need to use a two-appliance approach to grind the seaweed. I started it in my food processor to break it down, and then ground the small pieces to a powder in a spice grinder. If you can't find garum, you can substitute high-quality fish sauce (like Red Boat). You can find kombu at Asian grocery stores.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of cookbook to give away this week.


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