Ok, so, making a basic chicken stock is as easy as falling down. Seriously. I aced this first try, with the resulting stock being a beautiful not-fatty, not-salty, golden amber liquid that tastes quite simply of chicken. It’s really good.
I took some pictures.
Image 1: Chicken bits, post-sweat. Tons of juice was drawn out of the chicken during the sweating stage, which I guess is the point.
Image 2: Post-sweat, pre-simmer. I had just added the boiling water and bay leaves and given it a stir.
Image 3: Post-simmer. After an hour or so of a very slow simmer, the fat had all floated to the top and the broth was clearer, deeper colour.
I failed to take any photos of the straining/restraining/cooling/defatting stage. The defatting process was easy, but wasn’t so much “peeling” the fat layer off the top, but more a “scraping the fatty goop off the top”. It was super easy and took about 5 mins with a soup spoon. It did, however, take a full 24 hours for the stock to cool and set well enough to do the defatting. Don’t rush it.
What was under the fat surprised me. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve never made stock before so I was expecting there to be liquid under the fatty layer. Not so! The stock had set into what can only be described as Chicken Jello. Seriously, it was all gelatinated and wobbly and awesome. Here’s a picture of it, after I’d put it into a pot to warm/melt so I could get it into bags/ice cube trays for freezing:
Image 4: There’s always room for J-E-L-L-O.
And there we have it, my first great stock-making adventure. It went so well (seriously, it’s some damned yummy stock), that I’m already trying my second stock, this one a little more complicated:
Image 5: Pre-simmer stock #2.
This one’s made up of turkey necks/wings and hunks of beef shank (with bone) that I roasted for a couple of hours before putting in the pot. Also included are 2 carrots, 1.5 celery stalks, 1.5 onions, 15 peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, and 10 sprigs of parsley. I’ll be simmering this one for at least three hours, and it already smells incredible. Mmf.
If you’ve never done it, you should seriously try making stock. It’s ridiculously easy.