Friday, May 16, 2008

homemade chicken stock

I think I mentioned before that I am forever trying to actually not overspend on my grocery budget. Prices at the grocery store keep going up each week and I am not getting a raise each week to offset that, you know? One place that I know I spend more than I should is on boxed chicken stock or broth. In culinary school, we were told that stock is made from bones and broth is made from meat so I try to keep that all straight and not call one the other. Anyway, I made homemade chicken stock. I remember being a saucier' and making chicken, veal and fish stock each week. I really enjoyed making stocks. The French call stock the fond de' cuisine or the foundation of the food and once again I recall one of my chef instructors, Chef Lundberg, reciting, "garbage in, garbage out". It is so true. I must say that my homemade stock was much better than anything from a box (yes, even Kitchen Basics). Pictured above are the bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme for the sachet. When I was wrapping it up in the cheesecloth, I felt a real sentimentality for the process of making stock. I did not wrap my cloves up with the sachet, I pierced the onions with them because I always thought that was cool.

Here are all the ingredients in a stock pot. Chicken bones, onions, carrots, celery, cloves, salt, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns. All that was needed was the water. Although my stockpot isn't really large enough for the sachet to get lost, I tied it to the handle anyway just for the nostalgia of it all.

Here it is cooking along before I skimmed off the nasties. The nasty foamy stuff has to be skimmed off the surface. It really must. I simmered it for 1 and 1/2 hours. It smelled divine. Really divine.

Here is one quart of the finished product, strained and into a Chinese takeout soup container. I eat way too much Chinese takeout soup and that is why I have one quart containers to strain my stock into. All in all, I ended up with about 2 and 1/2 quarts of chicken stock. I made lentil soup from most of it and it was delicious.

I have a sinus infection and my poor beagle Pebbles has heart worms. She has to go in for a treatment in a couple of weeks. The vet promises me that she will be ok. I certainly hope so. The vet declared her to be athletic and outgoing and Huck to be a couch potato dog. Pretty insightful for one visit.

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