In the Kitchen
Around this part of the midwest the winter season has been unusually mild. It’s had it’s bouts of fridged all right, but overall, flip-flops in Feburary was a bit odd. Cooking this time of year takes on a whole different feeling. It’s all about comfort & feeling homey. Comfort foods and eating clean might seem like a paradox, but in my kitchen the rule is the less store bought and cleaner the better. Over the years, particularly during the colder months, I’ve found making homemade chicken stock and freezing it for later is a gauranteed way to have extra flavor on hand, as well as something soothing to have when I’m just “not feeling it.” Besides being fresh you know exactly what’s gone into it, excluding any ingredients you cannot pronounce.
What I use
2 medium onions
2 large carrots, peeled
2 celery stalks, with leaves (more flavor)
2 – 3 garlic cloves
1 fresh Bay Leave
1 – 1/2 pounds of chicken parts
Step 1 – Put on some really cool tunes. Next rinse the chicken parts, put in a stock pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil and skim the top frequently with a large spoon, or fancy strainer.
Step 2 – Cut onions, celery, and carrots into rough chunks and toss those in along with the garlic. Lower the temperature and let simmer for 1.5 – 3 hours, frequently skimming the top throughout.
A Watched Pot
I often say that eating clean means different things to different people. Growing up it was simply called, “homemade”. My mom made everything from scratch. Even our bread. Taking small steps to clean up your food goes a very long way.
Meanwhile, your neighbors down the hall will be wishing they had an invitation for lunch, assuming this is being done on one of those lazy saturday mornings, because the aromas are incredible. Just don’t forget to skim away periodically.
Once done, let it cool. The chicken will literally fall off the bone.
It will settle into a gelatin like concistency where you can then spoon it into containers of your choice. This will freeze nicely for up to 3 months in the back of your freezer. Stored away, extra flavor, for when you need it.
Next, what to do with all that chicken that fell off the bone.