Thursday, May 3, 2007

Chicken Stock

Whenever I am sick, I just crave soups. Nutritious, brothy, spicy ones, like a lemony dhal or a hot and sour Thai soup (like the one at Siam Bistro, yum). Sometimes I make a chicken stock from scratch, which takes almost all day, and make soup with it the next day. I usually buy four pounds of chicken bones from my butcher, freeze half of it and use the remaining two pounds for a stock-making session. There are lots of ways to make stock, but I always follow the recipe from the Joy of Cooking.

(makes 5-6 cups)

2 lb. chicken bones
cold water to cover

Cover the bones with cold water, put the lid on the pan and slowly bring to a boil. When the water boils, immediately turn down the heat to a barely-there simmer. For this next half hour it's important to constanty skim off the heavy scum that will form. If you don't, all those impurities will become incorporated into the stock and it will be cloudy instead of clear.

1 onion, unpeeled and quartered
1 stalk celery
1 carrot
1 leek, white part only
1 bouquet garni - half a bay leaf, two sprigs of thyme and a few sprigs of parsely
2 cloves
8 whole black peppercorns

Add these other ingredients after the half hour of skimming. Continue to simmer and skim. You'll need to skim less often now. Cook this way for three to four hours. Sieve the liquid and throw out the solids. Let the stock cool on the counter for a while. Keep it overnight in the fridge. The next day, spoon off the layer of fat that has accumulated. You should have five or six cups of stock. I always end up with lots more than that, so I simmer the sieved stock down again the next day until I have the right amount.

A good tip from Nigella Lawson - buy a bunch of plastic measuring cups and line them with plastic baggies. Then pour one cup of stock into each measuring cup and freeze. When the liquid has frozen you can just pop off the cup and the baggie will contain one measured cup, ready for use whenever you need it.


Hamster said...

Don't know if you've seen this already but if not Yu might be interested in this website.
It's got about 30 recipes each one with a cooking video to go along
Good if you like to try cooking Thai food at home

pingu said...

Thanks Hamster!

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