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A Chicken In Every Pot

A while back, C_________ exclaimed

“How does a New Yorker find time to make his own chicken stock? Or do you have day laborers over to take care of menial tasks like that?”


This was one of my big projects this weekend. The other was indulging in an orgy of World of Warcraft — The Burning Crusade.

The neat thing about making your own stock is that once you do it, you’ll never go back to canned unless you’re in a pinch. In addition to having your own batch of liquid gold, the aroma is simply fabulous.

Just to give you an idea of how big the pot is.

I added a couple more ribs of celery and another carrot to the amount shown here.

This is 3 lbs. of organic chicken, cut into quarters (by Citarella’s butchers). I included some neck bones and wing tips.

Cover with cold water.

Bring to a gentle boil and immediately turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible.

At this point, impurities will rise to the surface and you’ll want to skim every so often.

After about 30 minutes. Skim…skim…skim…

After one hour.

Simmer gently on an ultra-low setting for four to twelve hours. (Overnight is preferable. If I had a crockpot, I’d use that in a heartbeat.)

After four hours.

After six and a half hours.

Strain, reserve chicken for another use if you wish. I realize that other people poach the chicken for an hour then pick the meat off and toss the carcass back into the pot. I’ve made stock that way but this was an experiment, not to mention I used an equal balance of dark meat and light meat.

I could always use a bigger stockpot but then I’m only cooking for myself. I use stock primarily for soup and for cooking grains (rice, couscous, quinoa, barley, etc.).

This rather unglamorous picture is roughly 2 1/2 quarts of chicken stock. Let cool and store in the fridge.

After about 12 hours or so, the fat should lift off easily with a spoon, after which your stock is good to go.

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In the Pantry

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