Chicken Stock... some call it Broth
Contributed by: Cajun Clark
Regardless of what you call it, broth or stock, many recipes,
as you know, call for this ingredient. Now here's the deal:
you can buy it as a liquid in a can, as a granulated powder,
compressed into a cube, or, you can make your own. And
that's what this column is all about. So, follow along,
have a chuckle, and remember not to throw out your next turkey
carcass, 'cause this step-by-step recipe works with that fowl,
too. Now, let's make some chicken stock.
First, y'all go out to the chicken house and grab that ornery
old hen, the one you can't stand, the one that pecked you for
the umpteenth time this morning when you went out to get the
eggs for breakfast--that one. Oops, sorry, da ol' mon Caj
forgot where he was for a moment, got lost in his reveries.
Let's see...okay, I got it.
First, the next time you go to the market, BUY a whole chicken
or thighs and legs, or whatever you want. But remember, you
don't need to use expensive cuts when you're making stock.
Actually, you're making more than broth, but we'll get to that
a little later in this how-to.
Second, when you get home pull out your big stock pot; that's
the 8-quart minimum job. WASH the chicken real good; THEN
unceremoniously dump it in the pot.
Third, ADD water. How much? Depends...How much chicken do
you have in the pot? How large is your pot? How much stock
do you want to make? These are those imponderables. But if
you're like da ol' mon Caj, you'll probably come close to An
Inch From the Top. Just make sure you have enough water to
cover the bird.
Fourth, ADD seasoning. Some folks add salt and pepper to taste,
while others will enhance their broth with onion powder, and
still others will make sure to toss in some garlic cloves,
powder or granules. Yep, you guessed it, you decide what to
add for seasoning.
Fifth, BRING to a boil, turn down heat. SIMMER for several
hours, usually until the chicken is falling off the bone,
coming apart. And, some folks cover the pot while others
don't; again, you decide.
Sixth, when it's done, DIG out all the pieces and parts of
chicken that you can find. THEN, once it's cooled some strain
the stock through a colander to capture any small pieces of
bone, fat or meat left behind.
Seventh, dump your broth back into the pot or other container(s)
and REFRIGERATE. Once your stock has cooled sufficiently, you
can take it out of the fridge and remove the congealed fat from
the top. What you do with the fat is up to you.
Eighth, while your stock is cooling, take the chicken meat and
either get it ready to store, or use it in one of your favorite
recipes for dinner. Like chicken pot pie, chicken and pasta,
chicken salad, you get the idea.
Ninth, either freeze or can your stock and store. It should be
noted that this broth is usually thicker and much richer than
what you buy, so you may want to dilute it with water before
storing. Or decrease the amount, say 1 cup instead of 2 cups,
then you can dilute it when you need t/ use it. Again, the
decision is yours.
Tenth, and fina,ly (bet you thought we'd never get here), when
some folks make stock they don't stop with the chicken and
seasonings, even though this is the easiest and quickest way.
For example, you'll find recipes for broth that call for
chopped or diced celery, carrots, bell pepper, onion, you
name it; and there's nothing wrong with making it this way.
Yep, once again you guessed it, the decision is yours.
There's one other point that should be made: Caj's Mother knew
how to make stock, whether it was chicken or turkey; she didn't
need a recipe. It's another one of those things-you-just-know.
Cajun Clark's monster 659-page eCookbook is no longer available. His second cookbook in the series, with nearly 500 recipes
is Sweet & Sassy! http://www.cajunclarkssweetandsassy.com
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