Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box: Chicken Stock, From Scratch!

Confession: I want to be Ina Garten.

Ostentatious fake title... Gorgeous home in a playground for the rich and famous... Appreciative husband named Geoffrey coming home to delight in my culinary ministrations every evening...

I could be the Grand Duke of Flip Flops.

I watch her show on the Food Network and drool. I read her cook books and drool. I make her recipes and drool.

Perhaps I have a drooling problem.

Nope, I don't. It is just Ina. Everything is that good.

And she always has quarts and quarts of home-made chicken stock on hand. Its thick and gelatinous out of the fridge, and gets all hot and bubbly when heated. Oh, what a life!

But wait... I am not the Grand Duke of Flip Flops. I do not live in a gorgeous home in the Hamptons. I don't have an appreciative husband named Geoffrey. At best, I have a surly brother named Jim.

And I don't have time to make stock, nor do I have the storage space to always have it around.

But sometimes... the urge to stock strikes, and I can't help myself.

Behold, the stockpot: Shining, shimmering, splendid...

So, when that urge strikes, here's how I do it.

  • 1 large stock pot (mine is about 15 quarts)
  • 3 roasting chickens (older than fryers; older chickens have more flavor)
  • 3 stalks celery, halved to make 6 short pieces
  • 2 large onions, halved
  • 3 large carrots, halved (washed, not peeled)
  • 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 head garlic, halved along the equator
  • 15-20 sprigs thyme
  • 10 sprigs rosemary
  • 10 sage leaves
  1. Put all ingredients into stockpot.
  2. Fill with water, making sure to leave at least 3 inches between top of water and top of pot.
  3. Place over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and apply lid.
  4. Let simmer for 2 hours with lid in place. Remove lid, scrape any foam off the top, and let simmer, uncovered, for another 2 hours. Remove from heat.
  5. Remove as many of the large solids as you can using tongs or a slotted spoon.
  6. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh and into another pot. Note: You will be lifting and pouring a significant amount of very hot liquid. Be careful! Discard the solids (the chicken could be used for making chicken salad, if you like).
  7. Let cool, portion into quart-sized containers, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.
  8. Wander around your Hamptons home. Have a gin and tonic. Call for Geoffrey.
Note: You will notice that I did not salt my stock. I prefer to salt the final application, not the stock.

1 comment:

  1. I've been itching to try making chicken stock, thanks for the inspiration!