Monday, February 24, 2014

Taking Stock

This cooked, while I babysat!

After my adventures roasting the whole chicken, I had a lot of under cooked meat still on the carcass, so I set out to make stock so that none of it would go to waste. I've used stock and broth and seen at least one episode of a TV show where Alton Brown made stock, but it isn't something I'm familiar with. I perused several blogs, advice forums, and cookbooks, and decided this was something I could do!

Of course, I don't have a stock pot, but I do have a crock pot and a whole day to leave it on! From what I've read, this is more a method than an exact recipe, because what you have doesn't have to be the same each time.


Chicken carcass, chicken necks, chicken bones with meat still on the bone
2-3 carrots
3 celery stalks
1-2 medium onions
3-4 garlic cloves
bay leaf
pepper corns

So I put the carcass and neck in the pot. Most of the meat on the drumsticks and wings was still on the bone as it hadn't cooked enough to really dissolve the tendons. The neck was completely uncooked and kind of gross, but it should provide flavor. My crock pot is pretty big, so there was plenty of room.

I roughly chopped the carrots, celery and onion. I did peal the onion, though I've read that leaving the skins on can add flavor and color (I've heard of people dying eggs with a dye made from onion skins) The skin on my onion was dubiously clean, so I skipped that. The garlic went in as whole, pealed cloves.

Besides the aromatics (that is what Martha Stewart told me the onion, celery, and carrots were called), I added a good amount of peppercorns, two bay leaves, and a little salt. I also added a dash of rice wine vinegar--I read that it helps the bones dissolve and release the gelatin, which is supposedly the marker of a correctly made stock.

All of that was covered with cold water to the top of the pot. I put the lid on and put it on high for an hour and then switched it to low and let it cook for over 12 hours. Every couple of hours I scooped off some of the fat and scum from the top, but besides that I mostly let it go from 8 am when I put it in and when I took it out at 11:30 pm after coming back from babysitting. The rib bones had all softened and broken and the stock was a rich color and flavor. 

I strained the broth through a fine mesh strainer and then strained again through a cloth and strainer to get rid of the impurities. It then went into the fridge to cool. I did save the meat for the puppies--it had given up all its flavor and tasted like sawdust, but my dogs still love it! The fat should rise to the top to be scraped off and the rest can be frozen or used in soups. I'm planning on using it to make a cauliflower soup!

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