Kitchen Basics: Chicken Stock

So on Tuesday when I first boiled my chicken, I attempted to kill two birds with one stone and reserve the liquid from the pot to make chicken stock out of. So after the chicken was cooked, I cooled the pot and placed it in the fridge overnight---with the understanding that the next morning, the fat would have risen to the top and the stock would be underneath--ready for me to use.

Not so much. I'm not sure if it's because I left the veggies and chicken in the pot, or because there was just a lot of skin and fat in the chicken--but the next morning the entire pot had turned to this gelatin-like goo. I have since discovered the gelatin comes from the bones, and had I strained the stock the night before, it would have been easier to manage. Either way---down the sink it went, and on to my second attempt.

I still had all the bones--now cooked--but my coworker Heather and I were discussing my gelatin problem, and she offered to scan a Joy of Cooking Recipe for me. Using roasted chicken bones actually makes for a richer stock--and because I'm feeling sick and wanted to make a hearty chicken soup with it, I didn't see why I couldn't try again. My recipe last night was pretty easy on the labor--- I'll let you know how my soup goes!

Chicken Stock
from Joy of Cooking 
  • 2 lbs chicken parts 
I removed the meat from the chicken first, but left large pieces on the bones for flavor, however, leaving the meat on apparently makes for a more flavorful stock.
  • 1 onion-chopped
  • 1 carrot-chopped
  • 1 celery stock-chopped
I roasted the bones and vegetables for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, then added them to a dutch oven. Using one cup of water, scrap the roasting pan and add the brown bits to the pan. Add around 8 cups water (cover the bones plus two inches) and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat so there aren't any bubbles rising, but heat is still coming off the pan (around 180 degrees). Cook for three hours.
  • Bouquet garni (garlic, peppercorn, parsley, thyme, bay leaf wrapped in cheese cloth)
In the last hour, add in the bouquet garni. Remove from heat and strain the stock twice--once with a strainer, once with a cheese cloth to get all the bits and pieces out. Cool, then refrigerate and then skim the fat off in the morning.

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