15 hours ago
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I'm so tired of my house smelling like soup. I like to make my own broth -- less waste, cheaper and it tastes better. It's not difficult, but it takes time. Luckily some genius invented crock pots, so there's not much to do except strain the broth at the end. Unfortunately, after cooking 3 batches for 16 hours each, I don't know if the soup smell will ever go away!
A few months ago, I bought a bag of chicken quarters then decided not to cook them, so I dumped 'em in the freezer. Sadly, I forgot that unless you freeze fresh meat in individual pieces, it freezes in a giant lump and is impossible to chisel apart (I tried). So I had to thaw the whole bag, which meant I had to cook it all. I don't think I'll ever need 8 pounds of chicken at once, so on to chicken stock.
Half the bag of chicken -- about 4 pieces, skin, bones and all went into the crockpot with celery, carrots, peppercorns and salt. It cooked on high for an hour (or until I thought, "Oh, crap! I forgot about the stock!" 3 hours later), then on low overnight.
Sixteen hours or so later, I had rich, dark chicken stock.
After straining the solids, I put the stock in the refrigerator so I could skim the fat off the top, then poured it into different containers for freezing. My favorite are the heart-shaped ice cubes I use for sautes.
The chicken got chopped and frozen in broth so later I just have to thaw it and add carrots and noodles for chicken soup.