Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chicken stock, the real way

Needless to say, I don't have any pictures, but I did something I've been planning to do for some time now: make stock.

I've been collecting various chicken parts and pieces over the course of the last month or two - thigh bones, wing parts and wings, extra chicken skin, bits of trim and a chicken carcass from my cutting up a chicken into parts this morning. Everything went into the biggest pot I own, turned on the heat, brought it up to a low simmer, then just chilled out while skimming gunk and foam every now and then. Easiest thing in the world.

In the meantime, my parents rung me up to meet them in Freehold for some falafel, and I was mightily impressed. Actually, I ordered chicken shawarma, and it was extremely tasty. Nice break from sitting around and watching The Dark Knight for the 11th time.

Got back, tossed in about a pound or so of mirepoix (that's 2 parts onion, 1 part carrot and 1 part celery) and a sachet of peppercorns, parsley, thyme, garlic and a bay leaf. Simmered for another hour (OK, maybe a bit more), then strained through some cheesecloth. Done and done, with Mom taking the chicken and vegetables home for Sidney the Great Dane.

How did it come out? Well, right now it is cooling outside, covered in foil in a giant bowl, while it is snowing...and there's this big circle of melted snow around the bowl on the table. Too funny. Seriously, though, it did come out rather clear, maybe a little more cloudy than I'd have liked, but I don't think it's going to be a big problem. I'll probably go out in a few hours and check to see if its cooled down enough.

What to do with it? Well, I'm making Chicken with 40 Garlic Cloves tomorrow, so that's a start. The rest...who knows? Anyone have any ideas?