Anyone who knows me, will say I am a bit of a goodiegoodie. I have always hated getting into trouble and have a nervousness about authority figures. If a cop is driving behind me, even if I am not speeding, have not done anything wrong, I still begin to sweat and feel guilty. Yup, that's messed up but that's me. So, you can imagine, I am not what you would call a "rebel". That is just not in my nature. I don't like to make waves and I like for everyone to get along. You must be thinking, what does this have to do with chicken stock? Nothing. Well it kind of does. Let me continue. I have discovered that when I do finally rebel, it is for really lame reasons. For example, I really poo poo what other chefs say are a "must do". You know, when they say, "Oh you MUST make your own mayonnaise! It is SOOO much better than store bought! It is SOOO worth the effort!" What do I say? No. I will buy Best Foods mayo and love eating every tablespoon. You can keep you damn fancy, hippie mayo! That is, until I worked at a place where, yup you guessed it, we made our own mayo. And to be true, it was AWWWESOME. Now I still bought Best Foods but every time I made it, I thought to myself, "Gosh, this really is way better and so worth the effort!" I cannot deny that. And that brings us to chicken stock. Homemade chicken stock is way better than the crap in the can. The canned chicken stock is pale and tastes more like celery and carrots than chicken. And what is equally annoying, is you really don't have any excuse not to make your own chicken stock, because it is SUPER EASY! (If you want to rebel against this, try me!) If you have a pot, water and a chicken carcass, you are well on your way to the golden deliciousness that is homemade chicken stock. That is really all I have to say about that. Really, put your chicken carcass or carcasses in a pot, cover with water, set over low heat and let it just chill out there all day. Within the first thirty minutes you will notice foam rising to the surface. These are impurities and you don't want to ingest those, do you? Skim the foam off and discard. This along with cooking your stock super slow over low heat will make it very clear. After six hours or so, remove the chicken bones and strain your stock. Now it may be a bit pale, so you can let it simmer for an hour or more til it gets stronger and deeper in color and flavor. You can make a stock pile (tee hee, no pun intended) of chicken bones in the freezer (like Julia Child says) and make one big pot of stock someday. Once it is to your liking, store over night in the fridge. The following day the chicken fat will have risen to the top and hardened. Remove fat and save in the freezer (for gravy or sauteing veggies?) or discard. If you don't plan on using your stock within a few days freeze until you do. Now how simple is that?
My agenda here is to persuade all my female readers to re-claim their place in the kitchen. Every woman, I believe has a culinary instinct. Because of a period of time in our history these instincts were squashed by our society. The role of homemaker was passe, looked down upon. Now don't get me wrong, improvements did come out of this time, but along the way we lost a part of ourselves. Ladies, let's change that. Let us relearn the fine art of home cooking. Not only is it less expensive than eating out, but it is healthier and more fulfilling. Hear me: I do not expect you to work all day, come home, cook and clean, then don a crisp sun dress and dutifully wait for your man with a martini in hand as he arrives home from the office. Instead I would like to show you how easy and satisfying it is to cook a meal for your friends and family. A meal is not just about stuffing your face, but instead it is about coming together and sharing food, drink and conversation. It is about engaging with one other and what better way than over a home cooked meal?
Let's get to the fun part, let's talk food!