We’re in the midst of a ferocious blizzard here. With more than 12 inches of snow on the ground, I’m officially house-bound. But neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can keep me from making my favorite chicken stock!
What makes this stock so wonderful? Well, it has a rich, pure, chicken-y taste and aroma. It’s the stock I love for rice, risotto, and any number of sexy soups and stews. The ingredients and cooking-method are ridiculously simple: Peel 3 carrots…
Put the veggies in a big bowl and set aside.
Now retrieve 4-5 pounds of skin-on, bone-in chicken parts. I like to use wings and legs, as they contribute terrific flavor to the stock. You, however, can use any parts you like, or happen to have on hand. You can even use a whole chicken.
Please note that I do not add salt or pepper to my stock. Parsley provides the right amount of pepperiness (I just made up that word). Salt can be added later, or as required for a risotto or soup recipe. Furthermore, when Lily the Beagle is on her Look Great-Feel Great Diet, I like to add chicken stock to her daily meals. Salt is a no-no for doggies.
Now, some chicken stock recipes tell us to “discard the contents of the sieve.” This we shall not do!
Just don’t eat the bay leaves. They are too tough to chew.
Well, they do.
To degrease the easy-peazy way, just cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and pop it into the fridge overnight.
As you’ve just seen, chicken stock is a cinch to make. Just don’t over-season it with lots of herbs and spices. You can always add these extras as needed for soups, risottos, or what-have-you.
Homemade chicken stock can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze it.
And here’s a handy copy-and-paste version of the above:
My Best Chicken Stock
Kevin Lee Jacobs (www.kevinleejacobs.com)
Ingredients for about 2 quarts of stock
4-5 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken (I use wings and legs)
3 carrots, peeled and roughly-chopped
4 celery stalks (include leaves), roughly-chopped
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
2 Turkish bay leaves
10 sprigs flat-leaved parsley
Special Equipment: A stock pot that will hold at least 8 quarts
Making the stock – Put the chicken into the stock pot, and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch (you will probably need 3 1/2 – 4 quarts water). Bring to a simmer, and skim off the grey foam that develops over the course of 10 minutes or so. Then add the carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves and parsley. Cover the pot, and let simmer quietly until the chicken bones, veggies, and herbs have released all of their flavor into the liquid — 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Straining the stock – Line a fine-mesh sieve with well-rinsed cheese cloth, and set it over a large bowl. Strain the stock through the lined sieve. When thoroughly cool, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. You can eat the chicken and veggies, but not the bay leaves (they are too tough for chewing).
Degreasing and storing the stock – The next morning, use the edge of a spoon to scrape off the fat which has risen to the top of the stock. Discard the fat. Transfer the stock, which should be quite gelatinous, into tubs or zip-lock-type bags. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for longer storage.
Don’t miss anything at A Garden for the House…sign up for Kevin’s email updates.