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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making stock

We like to make our own stock.  We'll use the carcass of chicken or turkey, bones from beef or lamb, or just the ends and shavings from veggies.  Just put in the stock-making food from above, add water to cover, season as you'd like, and simmer down.

It's great for using in soups, stews, making rice or risotto, and all sorts of other good stuff.

(Jaimie here.) Carcasses are great! I even put a "boneyard" bowl on the table so we get all the bones and gristle to trow into the pot.  I usually freeze the first carcass and make stock when we have a second.  That makes for a more intense stock, not to mention more volume.  The picture above is a couple of chickens.  

You can see that some of the meat is a little pink.  This was one of the last commercial chickens we did in the New Wave oven.  I cooked it from frozen and took the label's weight as accurate.  Obviously it was about half a pound shy of the bird's actual weight.  Now I weigh each bird before cooking.

Anyway, back to the stock.  Just throw whatever you have leftover from a couple of chicken dinners, a lamb or turkey dinner, or veggie "waste" that you would normally compost into a pot of water and do like Shelly said above.  When the liquid tastes right, but weak, you want to strain out the solids.  I pour it through a sieve (fine metal screen strainer) into a bowl or another pot.  Throw away the solids (bonus:  you can still compost the solids from veggie stock), then rinse your stock pot before putting the liquid back in.  Now just bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer it until it reduces by a third to half.  Do this to taste.  Just keep tasting until the stock is as strongly flavored as you want it.   Now is also the time to add any extra seasonings or spices you'd like in this particular stock.  I wouldn't season it too heavily, though, because that will limit your options for later use of the stock.

Okay, I'll sign off now.  Time to take care of a few chores.   

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