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Backstory© A. J. Di Liberti
Making stock may be an all day project, yet you need not stand over it the constantly and the rewards are worth the effort.
There’s plenty of time for doing other things and unless you get really drunk, the aroma filling the house will remind you that something is cooking
- 4-5 lb chicken
- 2 Spanish onions, quartered
- 1 carrot, halved
- 1 celery stocks, halved
- 1 garlic bulb, halved widthwise
- fresh cold water
- Sachet d’epices; wrap 2 sprigs dried oregano, 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 1 small sprig fresh tarragon, 2 bay leaves, 4 parsley stems, and 1 T. black pepper corns in a doubled piece of cheese cloth. Fold to form a bag, tie closed with cotton string leaving about an 8” tail.
- Remove neck and organs from the body cavity, rinse these and the bird in cold water (inside and out), it all goes in the stockpot
- Place vegetables and chicken in an 8 to 12 quart stockpot, add sachet d’epices and tie tail to pot handle, add water to cover.
- Over medium-high heat bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Do not allow to boil!
- Remove chicken and set aside, keep broth simmering. When cool enough to handle remove skin, breast meat and legs from chicken.
- Place breast in an airtight container, then return everything else to the pot, and simmer for 5 to 6 hours. Have a kettle of hot water at hand and replace evaporated water as needed.
- Strain stock through a colander lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl, set colander and its contents aside.
- Pour stock into a fat separator then into a clean stockpot. It will take several batches to do this.
- Over high heat bring stock to a boil, lower heat to medium and reduce stock by half.
- Remove meat from carcass and legs; give it a rough chop and store in an airtight container.
- Discard cheesecloth, bones and vegetables.
- Place a bowl or stockpot, large enough to hold the stock in a stopped sink, surround with ice and run cold tap water into the sink as you pour the stock.
- Pour fast enough to keep the container from floating or tipping over. Turn the off faucet when the water is level with the stock in the bowl.
- Freeze 3 or 4 heavy one-quart zipper top bags or water bottles ¾ filled with water a couple days in advance of making stock.
- Place these in the stock to help chill it as quickly as possible.
- Chicken consommé
- Separate one egg for each quart of stock to be clarified, crush the eggshell(s) as fine as possible and lightly whisk them into the egg white.
- The yolks can be stored for a couple of days in an airtight container if you add enough fresh water to cover them.
- In a heavy stainless saucepan heat the stock until just warm, whisk the egg shell/white mixture into the stock thoroughly, when a crust forms, reduce heat and gently simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Check the stock by pushing the crusts from the side of the pan, when it has cleared remove from heat and allow to cool for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Line a sieve with several layers of cheesecloth. While holding the crust aside pour the clarified stock through the sieve into a clean bowl.
- Do not wring the cheesecloth! Discard it.
- Storing your stock.
- I find one-quart freezer bags and ice cubes the best means of storing stock for future use, both allow you to thaw and/or use only what you need.
- If freezing you’ll want to move the stock into containers or ice cube trays as soon as it has cooled. Once chilled the stock will set and will need to be warmed before it can be poured into containers.
- Ice cubes keep best if removed from the trays as soon as they are solid, and stored in an airtight container (like a large zipper bag).
- Canning is good option for storage if you have a pressure cooker; 1 pint and 1 quart jars are the most useful.
- When canning skip the cooling step and jar the stock while hot.
- © A. J. Di Liberti
- Making stock may be an all day project, yet you need not stand over it the constantly and the rewards are worth the effort.
- There’s plenty of time for doing other things and unless you get really drunk, the aroma filling the house will remind you that something is cooking.