Tuesday, May 25, 2010
A good Chicken Stock is the building block of many a good soup, sauce and stew. Quality home made stock is to the Chef as much a staple as good olive oil, butter, salt and pepper. Although there are many retail varieties of stocks now available, many of them I find too salty and contain a lot of unwanted additives. Plus I find something very enjoyable and therapeutic about making stocks for my kitchen. Not only can you claim to your quests that the entire dish is made from scratch but you will know exactly what is in the food you are eating.
What you'll need
6 chicken carcasses approx 1.5-2 kilos (4 lbs)
2 medium onions (peeled & quartered)
2 celery stalks (washed & roughly chopped)
2 peeled carrots (peeled & roughly chopped)
3 bay leaves
5-6 black peppercorns
Makes approximately 3 litres of stock
What to do
Place all the ingredients in a large pot and cover with water.
Bring it all to the boil.
Once boiling immediately reduce to a simmer.
Simmer for 4 hours.
Every hour skim the foam off that accumulates on top and discard.
Strain the stock.
Discard the solids (if you used meaty carcasses, feel free to pull any of the meat off and use as desired).
Strain the stock through a fine strainer to remove any fine solid particles.
Refrigerate over night, (the following day remove and discard they layer of hard fat that has solidified on top overnight).
The stock can now be used as required, refrigerated for 2-3 days, or portioned and freeze to be used at your convenience for up to a few months.
If a very clear broth is desired, leave out the carrots and simmer for only 2-3 hours.
If a richer, darker stock is required brown the bones first in a 200 degree oven (400 Fahrenheit) and simmer for 6-8 hours (this may require adding more water during the simmering process to prevent the stock drying up).