Monday, June 18, 2012

Recipe: Home-Made Chicken Stock

Home made chicken stock simmering in an enameled dutch oven
Stock made from some animal is the base of many a tasty meal. While beef, buffalo, and fish stock make their way into some of the dishes I cook, I find that chicken stock is the workhorse of my kitchen.

We buy organic chicken stock from stores on occasion, but there's no question that home-made chicken stock is tastier, cheaper, and only requires a bit more planning.

The recipe is simple: sauté aromatics and herbs, throw in a carcass from a previously roasted chicken, and then add white wine and water. Season to taste with salt and you're done!

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken carcass from a previous roasting
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) water
  • a pinch of dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Procedure

Heat an enameled cast iron dutch oven on medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. If you don't have olive oil, canola or some other oil is fine.

Aromatics and the chicken carcass browning
As the dutch oven heats, roughly chop the celery, onion, and carrot into big chunks. Once the oil is shimmering and hot (about 5-7 minutes), toss in the aromatics (i.e. the onion, celery, and carrot).

Sauté the aromatics for 5 minutes, and then add the chicken carcass. Continue to stir things around for another 10 minutes. Ideally, you achieve a bit of browning on the aromatics and the chicken.

Once things are nicely browned, clear a spot on the bottom of the dutch oven, add another tablespoon of oil, and put your crushed garlic into this spot. Also add the black pepper and thyme on top of the crushed garlic.

Stir things around for about 45 seconds to gently cook the garlic. Be careful not to burn or even brown the garlic. As soon as the garlic has cooked gently, immediately add the wine. Stir the contents of the dutch oven around for 30 seconds, and then add the water. Add the bay leaves.

Simmer the broth for 1-4 hours, depending on how much time you have. Season to taste with salt until it tastes like a good broth (a soup you'd want to keep eating).

Strain the liquid into a bowl, cool, and then freeze it in Ziploc bags... or use it in whatever recipe you've got going on.