May 19, 2010

Chicken Stock

I've always been leery of people who made their own chicken stock. When it's less than a dollar a can at the store, and it's even in low-sodium and fat-free varieties now, why would anyone go through the trouble? I mean, who really needs to show off that badly?

But after deboning and skinning a package of chicken thighs, I sneaked the remnants into a freezer bag, knowing I'd have to give it a try. And, seeing how I called in sick to work yesterday, I decided to give it a try.

The recipe I read seemed simple enough. I threw the leftover chicken parts in enough water to cover them, with a bit extra for good measure, and set it to boil. I put the lid on my pot to bring it to a boil quickly and sat down to watch some Food Network. A few minutes later, I ran to the stove after hearing a mess of sizzling. My water had boiled over! After I cleared that foamy mess, I let the chicken parts simmer at a more manageable temperature for an hour.

Since I didn't know until the next day that skimming the foam off now would make life easier, I went ahead and added my waiting vegetables and a handful of peppercorns.

Then I waited for about two hours. I didn't know, either, that you're not supposed to stir during this time. (Live and learn, right?) Being the compulsive stirrer I am, I couldn't help myself. When I finally tasted it, it tasted like greasy water! I added a bit more salt and pepper, threw in a couple cubes of cilantro (aren't those new cubes the most convenient thing ever?), and about 3 tablespoons of Knorr's tomato and chicken flavored boullion. I gave it another good hour before straining it, and who knew, it was pretty good!

After chilling it overnight and skimming off the fat, I was surprised to see that I had a bowl full of chicken-flavored Jello. I had to consult Google to see what I had done wrong, but apparently, this was a good thing.

Now, it's a matter of freezing it in cup measurements. Fun stuff, I tell you... Who would've thought chicken flavored Jello was so tasty?

Chicken Stock
Adapted from this recipe from my new favorite website,

bones and skin of 10 chicken thighs
enough water to cover chicken parts, and a little extra
2 carrots, cut into 2" chunks
3 celery stalks
1 onion, halved
1 teaspoon grated ginger
generous handful of peppercorns
3 tablespoons tomato and chicken flavored boullion
2 cilantro cubes
salt and pepper to taste

Bring water with chicken remnants to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour, occasionally skimming foam off top. Add the vegetables and peppercorn. Simmer for about 2 more hours. Season with salt, pepper, cilantro cubes, and boullion. Simmer for another hour.
Strain broth and chill overnight.

The next day, spoon the congealed fat from the top. If your stock is very rich, it will be a big bowl of loose Jello. Freeze and enjoy in future recipes!

No comments:

Post a Comment