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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homemade Chicken Stock

     So you ever have "those" kind of weeks....

 Last week was one of "those" kind of weeks.And how did I handle "that" kind of week...

        I made chicken stock.

     I find something so comforting about chicken stock,homemade chicken stock to be exact. Maybe it's the millions of cans Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup that I consumed as a child or maybe it's the signal for my soul that fall is on it's way.Well really fall is here and that means big ol' pots of homemade soups and stews that silently whisper comfort when there is just enough chill in the air....well to be fall.

    I make chicken stock about twice a year.I make it in the late summer/early fall and also just after the first of the year. I have a tendency to make a ton of it,so that means in turn I make a ton of soup.
  I think this year I might give some away to my foodie friends.Let me know if you would love some homemade chicken stock,I gots lots.
     I pour it up into quart-size freezer bags,label those jokers and off I go to the deep freezer.I'm you telling that is such a feeling of satisfaction. Another feeling of satisfaction: the explanation for the other quart-size ziploc bags of frozen chicken bones in said deep freezer. Bless his heart,after about the 10th time of him asking,my husband finally remembered what was in those bags AND has never wondered again at least out loud why I am saving those chicken bones.

    Homemade Chicken Stock of course!

         Ingredients needed for homemade chicken stock:chicken bones (raw or cooked-cooked chicken bones still have fat on them and unless fried/cooked to a crisp that fat can be rendered and there will still be flavor galore in dem bones.) onion,carrot,celery,garlic,bay leaf,parsley and kosher salt.

       Sooooo here's where the good stuff come in,add a little,like a drop of olive oil to a large stockpot.Brown the chicken bones in that oil until a little crispy.
   Add the roughly chopped onion,carrot and celery to the pot.Give a quick smash to the garlic and toss it in the pot with its friends.Brown those veggies in the chicken drippings until softened.Add back in the chicken bones.
        Add water and bring to a boil,partially cover and cook for at least 2 hours.After the time is up scoop out the vegetables and chicken bone and strain the water out of the vegetable mixture,extracting as much juice as possible.Discard the vegetable mixture and pour that extracted juice back into the pot.Refrigerate overnight,then the next day skim off the hardened fat from the surface of the stock. Refrigerate stock for no more that 4 days if you have to. After you have skimmed the fat off the stock,at this point youcould go ahead and bag up the stock to freeze.Be sure to label the freezer container of choice with a date and quantity,for me it helps when debating on just how much stock I'll need. This is some mighty fine stock.
   My stars Homemade Beef Stock is duh-vine,I'll tell you about that one real soon. Oh! Oh! and Homemade Vegetable Stock,fine fine fine and so smooth.Hello fall!
Homemade Chicken Stock
adapted from Mark Bittman
3-4 lbs of chicken bones,rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
1 cup roughly chopped onion
1 cup roughly chopped carrot
1/2 cup roughly chopped celery
1 clove garlic,smashed
a few sprigs of fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt,more if necessary
About 4 quarts of water,or more depending
   on the size of your stockpot
1. Brown the chicken bones in a few drops of olive oil over medium heat.Remove chicken bones and add the chopped veggies and garlic to the pot.
2.Brown the veggies and garlic until just barely softened,3-5 minutes. Add the chicken bones back into the pot along with the bay leaf,parsley,salt and water.
3.Bring just about to a boil,reduce heat to low and partially cover with lid. Simmer for at least 2 hours or until the meat has fallen off the bone.
4.Scoop out the veggie mixture and strain through a colander into a mixing bowl,extracting as much juice as possible.Pour the extracted juice back into the pot and refrigerate stock overnight.The next day skim off the hardened fat off of the top of the stock. ( If you really want you can strain through a small colander lined with dampened cheesecloth,just to clear up the stock of extra fat hanging around.)
5.Pour up stock into quart-size freezer containers,label and freeze. Enjoy!

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