We are adding a new series to the blog called, “This Is How We Do It” or “Kate’s Cooking School”. The second name is definitely more descriptive, but the first one makes us laugh, so that’s what we’ve gone with. 🙂 Having gone to culinary school, Kate is full of all kinds of great food-related information. From how to best chop an onion, to how to do that flippy thing with the pan when you’re sautéing something, to how to make baller chicken stock (featured here). Please let us know if there are any techniques or basic recipes that you’d like to learn more about and Kate might write it up for you!
Chicken Stock-by Kate Davies
We have all heard of Chicken Soup for the Soul, chicken soup to cure a cold, mom’s chicken soup, etc. I never understood what all the fuss what about, because the only chicken soup I knew as I kid came from a can (and it wasn’t very tasty). I promise that the first time you make your own chicken stock, you’ll understand what all the fuss is about!
Homemade chicken stock is cheap to make, it’s very simple, and it adds beautiful flavor and texture to soups, risotto, sauces, and stews. Use it to cook farro or brown rice to make a hearty and delicious side dish, or add some pasta and sautéed vegetables for a quick weeknight soup. It took a culinary education, plus years of working alongside talented cooks for me to grasp the magic that a well-made stock can bring to the simplest of foods. My chicken stock formula is pretty basic: roasted chicken bones, aromatic vegetables, herbs, and perhaps a strip of lemon or orange peel.
By definition, stock must contain bones. The collagen and gelatin extracted by long, slow cooking give stock it’s body and richness. I use the term more loosely to include a vegetarian version, which could also be called vegetable broth.
Whenever we roast a chicken for dinner (or bring home a rotisserie bird from the supermarket), the bones go into the stockpot to simmer overnight. By the next morning we have golden chicken stock, which I strain and package for the freezer. You can omit the chicken bones and make a vegetable stock, which requires less cooking time. Roasting your stock ingredients before they go into the pot adds caramelized, toasty flavors to the final product. As you develop your stock recipe, you’ll find you prefer different combinations of onions, carrots, perhaps leeks or parsnips, even fennel. Often my stock tastes like whatever vegetables I found lurking in my produce drawer. I do like to use fresh herbs, which are the only plants in my garden that I can manage to keep alive.
-2 lb (900 g) chicken carcass or chicken bones
-1 large onion, quartered
-3 carrots, peeled and halved
-3 ribs celery, halved
-1 clove garlic, peeled
-herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaf) tied into a bundle with twine
-strip of lemon peel
-1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine
Place the chicken carcass, half of the vegetables, and the white wine in a roasting pan. In a 400°F /204°C oven, roast the stock ingredients until the vegetables begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Immediately transfer the ingredients to a stock pot, add the remaining vegetables, the herbs, lemon peel, and cover with cold water. Simmer over low heat for a minimum of 6 hours, or over night. Make sure that the ingredients are covered with liquid at all times by adding hot water if necessary. Strain the stock, cool in the refrigerator, and use a spoon to remove any fat that has solidified once the stock is cold.
The fun thing about chicken stock is that everyone has their own recipe. This is how I like to make mine, but I would love to hear how you make yours! Any tips or tricks you want to share?