Monday, February 5, 2018

Chicken Stock


Good Soup begins with the stock, which really begins when you cook the chicken, and of course, it all begins before that on how the chicken was raised. So, good chicken stock begins with the chicken.
Find a good one. Organic. Raised on a happy farm. Perhaps the farmer sang it a lullaby before sending onto its maker and thence, my dinner table.

Then you roast the chicken.

Stock

Opening my freezer to see quart containers and iced cubes
of stock feels as good as a closet full of clothes, gas in the
car, a stacked cord of firewood.

Clear Chicken Stock

Makes four quarts
1 chicken, plucked and washed
2 carrots, cut in large chunks
3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
2 large white onions, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved
1 each: rutabaga, parsnip, turnip, halved
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
3 quarts water

Brush and clean the vegetables and place in a large
stockpot over medium heat. Add about 4 quarts water.
Gently place whole chicken in the pot. Toss in the bay
leaves and salt and allow it to slowly come to a simmer.
Lower the heat to medium low and gently simmer for 1
hour, partially covered.

Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into
another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Use the
stock immediately or to store it, place the pot in a sink
full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Use the
chicken meat in a finished soup.

Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze.


Dark Chicken Stock

1 chicken, cut in pieces
2 carrots, cut in large chunks
3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
2 large white onions, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved
1 each rutabaga, parsnip, turnip, halved
Dried herbs
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
3 quarts water

Cover two baking trays with parchment. Place chicken
pieces on one, the vegetables on the other. Coat with olive
oil, salt and herbs. Roast in 350! oven for about an hour.
Remove from oven and cool to a handling point. Place
roasted chicken pieces and vegetables in a large stockpot
over medium heat. Add about 4 quarts water. Toss in
the bay leaves and salt and allow it to slowly come to a
simmer. Lower the heat to medium low and gently simmer
for 3 hours, partially covered. Be careful not to boil the
stock. This causes the protein bits to separate and cloud
an otherwise beautiful stock. Remove from heat and cool
slightly before the next step.

Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another
pot to remove the solids. Use the stock immediately or to
store it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to
cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one
week or freeze.

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