Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chicken Stock

After roasting a chicken, I was left with the carcass. I've read of people making their own stock from them, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm not yet convinced that it was worth the effort, since I only made about 2 cups of stock.

I found this recipe on epicurious, and with its rave reviews, I knew this was the one I had to try. And for those wondering, there is a difference between stock and broth. Broth is made with bones with a high meat to bone ratio (think whole chicken pieces) and a shorter cooking time, while stock is made with bones with a low meat to bone ratio and longer cooking time. Stock has more gelatin from the bones and therefore usually has a more concentrated flavor.

Chicken Stock
I cut the following recipe in half, since I estimated my chicken carcass to be 1.5-2 lbs. This recipe (as posted) is supposed to yield 7 cups of stock.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
(I used ~10 mini carrots from the bag)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 large stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 head garlic, cut horizontally in half
8 ounces mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 cup dry white wine
6 sprigs thyme
(I used ~1 Tbsp. dried. I know, I should have bought fresh herbs, but I didn't.)
6 sprigs Italian parsley
(I only had a small handful left, so I just used that.)
6 basil leaves
2 bay leaves, broken in half
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, toasted
3 to 4 pounds chicken bones, wings, backs, and/or necks
10 to 12 cups water, or enough to cover

1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the white wine and stir, then add the herbs, peppercorns, chicken bones, and water and bring just to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, skim off any impurities that have risen to the surface (don't stir or the stock will be cloudy), and simmer, uncovered for 2 1/2 hours.
3. Strain the stock first through a colander, then through a fine-mesh strainer (or cheesecloth-lined colander) into a stainless steel bowl or container. Chill the stock in an ice-water bath. (This not only kills harmful bacteria, it prevents you from having to put steaming-hot stock into your refrigerator — and inadvertently heating it and its contents.) Then refrigerate until chilled, or, preferably, overnight.
4. Skim any fat from the top of the stock, and transfer to airtight containers. The stock will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator, or you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

Well, it made the house smell good! The stock is currently sitting in my freezer, so I can't say how yummy it is. I have to figure out why my yield was so low (I think it might work better if you don't halve the recipe). Regardless, I felt good about using the chicken carcass before tossing it, and I tried something new!

No comments:

Post a Comment