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Friday, November 25, 2016

Home made stock. Nothing gets wasted.

As you can see, I have a little bit of everything going on in this chicken stock.

For a long time I bought stock or broth for my cooking. I still do. But I realized that there's a lot of bits that usually end up thrown away that can make a wonderful stock. Best part is - it doesn't matter if you want to make a seafood, beef, pork, chicken, or vegetable stock, it's rich and costs almost nothing to create.

Scraps are what makes it. No major producer uses good meat, or even the best vegetables. I use everything. Onion ends, wilted celery, tomato pieces, even stems from herbs like rosemary and thyme (they have flavor, but are usually discarded.)

The stock above was a chicken stock, made from the bones left over from de-boning chicken and my frozen accumulation of herbs and veggies.

There are no official ingredients for this, but for a good, rich stock, you'll need:

roughly 3 pounds of uncooked chicken parts, stripped of meat (thigh bones, breast bones, etc.)
equal amount of vegetable and herb scraps
3 tbsp. of kosher salt

Put all the ingredients into a stock pot and add just enough water to pretty much cover them. Cover the pot and put on low - medium heat for two hours, then remove the lid.

The ingredients are blending... it's going to be good.
Put the heat down to low and just let it cook, stirring occasionally. It takes awhile, but it's worth it. The longer it simmers, the richer it is, as the flavor draws out of the marrow and other ingredients. If the water level gets too low, add a little more, or even a splash of white wine. I usually let it go all day, and sometimes I'll let it cool overnight and put it back on the next day. 

When it's done to your satisfaction, it's time to strain it. Use a slotted spoon to remove some of the bigger pieces. Take a sieve and place it over a metal bowl and slowly empty the pot (we usually  ladle it out, so we can discard the solids as the sieve fills up.)

Finished product - amazing flavor!
The picture above is the end result. We used it as a base for our Thanksgiving gravy, along with the turkey drippings. You will not be disappointed.


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