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Thursday, September 3, 2009

How to Make Chicken Stock from Scratch

7 Days into the Challenge and we are down to some slim pickin's around these parts. But two nights ago I outdid myself (if I do say so myself) with a fabulous homemade chicken noodle soup.

It started on Sunday, when I threw the bones leftover from Dinner #1 together with some dried up carrots and the tops of a few celery stalks I had been saving for precisely this purpose into a pot and covered it with water.

Looks appetizing doesn't it?

As I threw my celery tops into my stock pot (never throw away celery tops- they are incredibly flavorful. I am sure they are the reason my stock was so rich...either celery tops or the giblets.) I stopped mid-throw and thought to myself, "Hey! I'm making stock...in a STOCK pot. That's where it got its name."

Just keeping it real for you.

Then I decided to tackle this:

Ugh. Ew. 

Usually these come out of the chicken's bottom and go kerplunk straight into my trash can.

But on Sunday I was feeling adventurous. And frugal. There's no escaping the frugality around here these days. I did a quick Google search and discovered that chicken innards (or giblets as they are commonly known...that's a soft 'G' as in 'giant'....not a hard 'G' as in 'Gosh you've been mispronouncing that word your entire life') add loads of flavor to chicken stock and should never ever under any circumstances be treated as a slimy smelly nasty mess.

So in they went into the skillet.

Ick. Ick. Ick.

Once all the elements are in the pot, set everything to a low simmer for 4-6 hours. The smell in your house will be incredible. So incredible you'll have to explain to your husband multiple times that this is not in fact dinner. Your husband will be disappointed when you tell him tonight's dinner is frozen pizza.

When you finish up the simmering, strain away all the bones and bits of veggies and ESPECIALLY the icky giblets - what's left is chicken stock. You're a bona fide gourmand if you make it this far. It's best to let it cool off and use it a day or so later, then you can skim off all of the fat that rises to the top once it's cooled.

Mine looked like this once I pulled it out to make soup.


I had no idea it was going to congeal like this - thanks again to Google for the reassurance that this was totally normal.

Finally the stock went into a pot with some frozen veggies (endlessly useful) spaghetti noodles and chicken picked from the bones....and twenty miutes later we had dinner.

Yum.




 
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