Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Taking Stock

I just plopped my first pot of stock of 2011 on the stove, containing mostly ingredients that we had laying around in the fridge and felt compelled to blog about it. Homemade stock is easy, elevates any dish that is lucky enough to be worthy, and beats the hell out of that Swanson bullshit.

I believe today's stock to be my best one yet! Here's what we got:

  • 1 Picked-at Rotisserie Chicken Carcass
  • 1 Small Red Beet 
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion
  • 1/4 Roasted Spaghetti Squash 
  • Several Cloves of Garlic
  • Fresh Oregano, Thyme, Sage
  • One Bunch Cilantro
  • 4 Blackberries
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 a leftover Heineken

  • You can make stock with just about anything you have, but you want to have mirepoix at the very least. Here's how Alton Brown says to do it:

  • Place the chicken, vegetables, herbs and spices in 12-quart stockpot. Set opened steamer basket directly on ingredients in pot and fill with water. Cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the liquid.

  • Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon or fine mesh strainer every 10 to 15 minutes for the first hour of cooking and twice each hour for the next 2 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours.

  • Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot or heatproof container discarding the solids. Cool immediately in large cooler of ice or a sink full of ice water to below 40 degrees. Place in refrigerator overnight.

  • Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and store in container with lid in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months. Prior to use, bring to boil for 2 minutes. 
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