My version of therapy

I’ve finally accumulated enough chicken carcasses in our nearly two months here to make my first batch of chicken stock since we moved today. 

In these oft troubled times of gas shortages (which is quite a real thing where I now live), corporate bailouts which will no doubt burden the average taxpayer for years, and just general bullshit of living in what has increasingly become an evermore intolerant country, I’m quite happy at home making my chicken stock.

As the air and sky become increasingly crisper and deeper blue with autumn now upon us, what better aroma is there than that of roasted chicken bones, onions, carrots and celery gently simmering in a large stockpot all day?  I can’t think of one.

And while people all across the land argue about the best way to redistribute my money to all forms of people “less fortunate” than me (both at home and abroad), I’m happy at home today skimming my stock to perfection, in order for it to be used throughout the remainder of this autumn and to comfort me when I need it most.

For roasted chicken stock (or brown chicken stock) I use about seven or eight pounds of bones, backs, wings and necks which I roast until, well, they’re brown.

Add this to the stockpot and deglaze the roasting pan with water to release all that goodness (referred to in culinary circles as fond), and add that to the pot.

Cover with cold water and bring up to a gentle simmer, skimming all the while (never stirring though).  For home use I’m anal about the skimming, because I may decide to use the stock in consomme, plus I don’t want all those impurities floating around in everything I eat. 

After most of the proteins have coagulated and there’s not much left to skim, add the mirepoix (2 parts onion to 1 part each of carrot and celery) and bouquet garnet or sachet (parsely, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorn).  I prefer to add the mirepoix later because it just gets in the way of skimming.  There may be a little more skimming necessary but not too much.

Keep an eye on the pot to make sure it’s at a gentle simmer and not a boil (boiling will ruin all your best efforts of skimming by clouding the stock).  Simmer for about six hours – go ahead and taste it while it’s simmering to get a feel for when it’s done.  You may also have to pull the sachet out if those flavors start to dominate too much.

To finish, strain carefully through a fine mesh seive and cool in an ice bath.  At this point I advise breaking the stock down into smaller batches for freezing.  Another thing that I’ve done is take about half of the stock and reduce it way down to make a “glace de volaille”), which I’ll then freeze in ice cube trays (a la Julia Child).  The glace is a good idea to boost up a sauce, say like a tomato sauce or something.

So there you have it, no more excuses for buying that canned or boxed bullshit they call stock and overcharge for at grocery stores.

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One thought on “My version of therapy

  1. Hey, very cool post. Thanks. I am just making a batch of brown chicken stock right now. I like the idea of adding the chicken earlier.

    I found some celery at a farmers market today, so I started by roasting the bird and dusting it with flour 5 mins before finishing. I then coarsely chopped local celery, onion, garlic, and my dad’s carrots, and fried those up, then added a couple bay leaves, then a small tin of tomato paste, and cooked it down to caramelize a bit. Chicken and veg went in the pot, I also later added garden parsley, thyme and chives, and a bunch of peppercorns. It’s been simmering for about an hour and a half and I’ll take it off the heat and put it in mason jars soon.

    Homemade stock is awesome, it tastes so much better than anything else.

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