Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken Stock the Old Fashioned Way

I have been wanting to try something new here for quite a while. But time and energy haven't allowed. Yesterday I finally had the time. I love to make soup in the winter. Something about a pot bubbling away on the stove makes me feel homey. To make really fantastic soup, I believe you must start with homemade stock. I love the stuff and make gallons and gallons of it in a winter. Today we will go through my method.
Before we start we must get some good jamming music. I don't know if prairie wives listened to this way back in the day but we will today.

I save all of my chicken and turkey bones. When I have about three chickens worth I throw it all in the oven to roast for about an hour. I think this step brings some extra flavor.

While that is smelling up the house I cut my vegetation. Today I am using 4 carrot, 3 stalks of celery, 2 onions, 1 head of garlic, a handful of thyme, and the stumps of the broccoli we had the other night for dinner. Put in whatever veggie scraps you have around. This is a method not a recipe. Throw in about 10 peppercorns and a heavy pinch of salt.

After your bones are done roasting put in all in your pot and cover with water. Crank the heat to get it going then turn it down so it is just boiling. Just wait, your house is going to smell sooooo good. Stir it occasionally. I use tongs because you can flip bottom to top and top to bottom that way.

This should cook for a minimum of about 4 hours. But you can cook it all day. It gets better and better. For me, I shoot for around six. You will have to add water as it boils out and exposes your bones. I heat a kettle up on the stove and add water from that. That way you always maintain a boil.

Once you are ready to extract your stock do yourself a favor and strain off the big chunks with an over sized slotted spoon. This makes using a colander much easier in the next step.

I love this spoon.

Next get your strainer.

Cover it with a clean non fuzzy towel. (Some say use cheesecloth but I think it is a waste of money when a towel works just a well and is reusable.) This towel has had many a stock strained through it.

Next put the strainer in a pan or bowl. Don't forget this step or you will be soooo sorry.
Slowly pour your molten lava into the strainer. It may take a little while to work it all through. Just set it in your sink and let it drip.

OK, now pick up the towel and grab the edges and squeeze out the goodness. No pictures of that because I was too busy burning my hand. Careful it is still hot.

Now what do you do? What can't you do with this stuff. OK so don't try and patch your roof with it or anything. But most other things are fabulous. From chicken noodle to spicy veggie to kale, sausage and potato soup. The sky is the limit. But those will have to wait until next time. We have a foundation for our soups all winter. Don't tell anyone but this is why I dig winter.

Oh and one more thing, make sure to save off some for additions for other dishes. I put it in my fried veggies for a little extra flavor, or into a braise instead of water. You won't ever buy it again.

So there you go. Not bad for something that started out as garbage.

Back to kid pictures tomorrow.


dlyn said...

WoooHoooo! Your first foodie blog - very nice!

Kellan said...

This sounds like great stock and you did a great job with the photos!

Take care and have a good weekend - Kellan

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I can just imagine how good it smelled!