Monday, November 9, 2015

Stock

I usually make chicken stock twice a year.  It's a putzy thing to make and takes about 8 hours, start to finish.  But it's delicious and makes everything taste better (see Rule #3).  We always have cartons of store-bought stock in the pantry and use it regularly, but the home made stuff is much better.


It's simple and pretty forgiving:

  1. Chop up vegetables.  You can use all sorts, but start with the classic mirepoix, carrots, onions, and celery.  You can add leeks, chives, garlicscapes, bell peppers, fresh herbs, etc.  It's a good way to use up old vegetables.
  2. Roast chicken parts.  Or not.  I do, but you don't need to.  I save parts (wing tips, backs, necks, gizzards (but not livers) etc) and freeze them.
  3. Saute vegetables in a large stock pot.  A stock pot differs from a Dutch oven in the ratio of height to diameter.  A stock pot is tall and skinny and a Dutch oven is short and wide.
  4. Add the chicken
  5. Toss in some herbs: oregano and peppercorns and anything else you like.  Thyme is good.  So is sage.
  6. Add water to cover.  I put a basket steamer in on top to keep everything submerged
  7. Simmer for about 6 hours.  Don't let it boil vigorously or it will make the stock cloudy.  Add water to maintain the level.  Add some parsley and celery for the last half hour.
  8. Remove most of the solids and filter through cheesecloth.
  9. Let is sit so that the fat comes to the top.  Remove the fat however you can.  I have a 6' piece of Tygon tube and I siphon the stock into a different container.
  10. Store in 1 and 2 cup containers and freeze.  Be sure to put the date on the containers.

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