Yarn basket and pin cushion

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

on procrastination, and chicken stock

we're not as good at this blogging thing as we'd like to be. (and by we, i mean me, Ethel) .......

it is what it is. lately, all i want to do is listen to this band and learn a new way to tie scarves. i'm wearing lots of scarves lately, as it's finally crisp and cool here in the midwest. . . and scarves are a mild, inexpensive habit to acquire. i'm ok with it.

i digress.

in our last post, we learned of Agnes foray into poultry preparation (again, i say, well done!) --- and i promised a recipe for stock. here it is (and oh, so simple........)

initially i was going to roast a chicken and then use merely the skin and bones (don't be squeamish, there's tons of flavor left in those bits) for this preparation, but i accidentally undercooked my bird and realized it far too late. . . . so instead of eating a roast chicken AND making stock, i just re-cooked the bird as i made the stock. making sense? not to me either. truthfully i was pretty bummed out, but i wasn't about to risk salmonella just for the satisfaction of a juicy, roast chicken sandwich. sigh. i'm getting off track .

take a bowl of chicken scraps (bones, skin, questionable dark meat you don't enjoy, what have you ---- about 4 cups or so) and bring to a simmer in a pot with about 12 cups of water. throw in an onion, rough chopped, garlic, a stalk of celery, and seasonings, (i just used LOTS of salt and cracked pepper). allow this boney soup to simmer away for at LEAST 2 hours and skim away anything funky that rises to the top. there will be scum, and you should prepare yourself for that. after at least 2 hours (preferably longer) turn off the heat and allow your liquid to cool to a temperature that won't scald you should you spill it on yourself when you try and pour it through a strainer. (and i don't use a strainer- because i don't have one- just a spaghetti colander with smallish holes) ...... this will give you a cloudy, homespun looking stock with tiny bits of chicken still clinging to hope. i like this. if you want a clearer, more brothy substance, just pour it through a cheesecloth. if you own cheesecloth, you're a step ahead of me.

this recipe should make about 2 quarts of stock ---- which you will then CHILL thoroughly-  and remove the layer of delicious yellow chicken fat off the top. in theory, it will lift off in a nice solidified piece, but it may not. (and if a few bits aren't retrieved, and somehow (gasp) make it into whatever you prepare ---- i promise, it will only be that much more delicious. if i wasn't concerned with the state of my arteries, i would cook with chicken fat (AKA schmaltz ) every day for the rest of my life. it's THAT good.

that's it. now you have stock.

if you don't have enough scraps, or you want to make more than 2 quarts (which i recommend as it's the same amount of work) then save all those bits in a freezer bag until you have plenty.

from my decidedly non-kosher, but Jewish-cuisine-loving kitchen nonetheless,


ps ---
use more salt than you would think. probably a tablespoon. poorly salted stock tastes like dirty dishwater. (you think i'm kidding........)

pss- this freezes BEAUTIFULLY. i made a HUGE batch of stock last year (yes, last YEAR) and used my last quart a few days ago, to no ill effect.

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