Friday, July 10, 2009

Dark Chicken Stock

In order to have a real relationship with your kitchen there are some basic elements you need to master right from the start.  Many recipes use chicken, beef, or veal stocks as bases for sauces, braising liquids, or soups, and the stuff you get in the box or can at your mega mart is a poor substitute for the real thing.  For God's sake DO NOT USE BOUILLON CUBES!  Those little cubes are made from chicken flavor, powdered herbs, and copious amounts of MSG.  The base of most French sauces is a good stock, and if you want to develop your "chops" as a true saucier, you need to learn how to make them.  They take time to make, simply because they need to boil on the stove for quite a while.  They take very little time to actually prep.  This first recipe is one of my favorites.  This can be used in place of a veal stock if you are squeamish about using baby cow.

4 lbs of Chicken wings chopped into smaller pieces (remove the meat as best you can from the bones)  I like to save all the bones from chicken I roast myself or even store bought rotisserie chicken bones.  Just put them in a large ziplock and put in your freezer until you have enough to make stock.
2 Tbsp canola oil or other flavorless oil
2 medium sized onions roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
2 large carrots
1 cup dry white wine
10 cups of water
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place a large deep roasting pan on the stove top over high heat.  Add the oil, and then add the chicken pieces.  Cook on the stove top for about one minute then place the roasting pan in the oven for about 45 minutes.  Open the oven and stir occasionally.  The chicken pieces will turn a deep brown, and will become very dry looking.

After 45 minutes add the vegetables and roast for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes stir the mixture and put back in the over and roast an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on the stove top on medium heat.  Add the white wine and with a spatula scrape any of the burnt pieces off the bottom of the pan.  Add the water, bay leaf, thyme, parsley and reduce heat to medium low.   Simmer on the stove top until liquid is reduced by 2/3.   Strain liquid into a large bowl.  Using the back of the spoon, squeeze as much liquid out of the chicken as possible.  Pass the reserved liquid through a fine strainer two more times.  The stock that isn't used can be frozen.  If you freeze them in iced cube trays or even better Gerber baby food containers, you can use them in individual servings.

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