Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Chicken Stock Secret, exposed!

I make my own chicken stock. I have been doing it ever since I started buying the roasted chickens from the grocery store. I'm pretty sure I have not posted my recipe, because I was a little shy about it. Truthfully, I wasn't sure it was turning out right, but my FOOD that I cooked with it tasted great! So I was not going to change anything about it. Just kinda shyly put it into stuff and pretend I knew what the hell I was doing. Really, I wasn't sure!

There is a local blogger that I frequent, who seems to have much more substance to back up her cooking. She does cooking expos at the North Market. She reads books by chefs about cooking. She seems to have some experience! A recent post features her knowledge about stock, which she learned from Ruhlman's book The Elements of Cooking. This Ruhlman character is, like, the real deal. He was a judge on the Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef." I am pretty sure I saw him on a "No Reservations" episode with one of my favorites, Anthony Bourdain. (It was the Las Vegas episode...and yes, I have a small obsession with everything Vegas). Oh! And Ruhlman is from Ohio! I think his book will be on my Christmas list, officially.

So Ms. Restaurant Widow took a picture of her final product. It jiggles. MY STOCK JIGGLES! I always thought the jiggle, was, like, BAD. It isn't! It is CORRECT! Not to mention, in her blog "Comments", there is a nice response from someone titled "ruhlman". I like to think I am not naive. Maybe I am...but quite possibly he posted on her blog! And of course I comment, because, "Hey! Look at me! My stock does that too! I can't take good pictures of it. And I secretly thought I was just f-ing it up. But me too, me too!"

So in conclusion. I was right. And perhaps you now want my brilliant recipe. So here you go (and as usual, all measurements are approximate, as I no measure good, or ever).

Kristy Stock
One chicken carcass (2lbs)
2 sliced carrots
1 chopped celery stalk (the leafy part is encouraged)
1 medium onion roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
other herbs if you got 'em (thyme, sage, oregano)
water to cover (about 10 cups)

Put vegetables on the bottom, and place the chicken on top. Cover with water. Generously salt and pepper the water. Nestle the herbs and bay leaf along the side. Cook on low overnight. In the morning, turn to "keep warm" until you get home from work. Turn off and let cool enough to then place pot in the fridge. Skim off the fat after it appears at the top. Strain. Freeze. And yes, it is OKAY and GREAT if it jiggles!

Picture Update: Here is the amount of stock I get from my crockpot. Each container has 2 cups, and the top of the pyramid is 1. The containers, which I then put into the freezer, are FREE from the local chinese food place, and I just pop them into the microwave for 3 minutes to partially thaw so that I can then pop the stock into a pot on the stovetop when I am ready to use them.


achilles3 said...

you've always had great stock!

Lisa said...

I can't wait to try this!! I go through chicken stock like a fish goes through water. Thanks!

Sue said...

I just want to add that if you ever run short on space in your freezer to store that stock, you can reduce it further and freeze it in ice cube trays. Just add water when you're ready to use again!