Taking Stock of the Situation

by: Amy Ricketts

I used to be scared of raw meat.  Fact.

As a child, I would watch my mom cooking the Thanksgiving turkey in horror.  With my mother’s hands working carefully over the lifeless carcass, I would declare that I would never touch something like that much less cook it for anyone.  This held true through college, and even in my early 20s. But then I met and married an Englishman and learned how good and simple a whole roast chicken is.  I went from being turned off by raw poultry to being elbow deep under the turkey skin,  stuffing pounds of butter and herbs carefully between the breast and skin. 

I believe in using as much of an animal as I can – but I don’t push it. I’m not interested in offal or other cuts. I use the leftover chicken after a roast dinner in things like stir fry, fried rice, chicken soup.  There has always been one thing that eluded me – the most basic chicken stock.  I’d tried it once and it was too fatty and greasy, even after straining it a few times.  That was when my mom divulged the secret.

“Well you don’t cook the skin silly”.  Oh.

So once I went her way, and removed *most* of the skin from the leftover, my tune changed considerably.  It is tasty and easy and cost efficient – 3 important things in my book.

So I’m going to give you the dummies guide to chicken stock.  I’m sure I’ll have purists berating me for not using the skin….or for not cooking long enough. I’m the mother of a hungry toddler and a woman who works full time in the city – fast is good in my book! But that’s the great thing about things like this – it will be better the longer it cooks.

Let’s start from scrap

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Easy Chicken Stock

Ingredients:
1 chicken carcass (mine is a left over rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods)
Water to cover the carcass

and here is the magic……..whatever else you want.

What do you mean? This isn’t a recipe! Ok well you’re right. For me making this is a good way to clean out my fridge.  Here’s what I did today, this isn’t what I do every day – I believe this is one of the chuckable things you can make – toss in there what you have in the fridge that may work.

Easy Chicken Stock (Today)

Ingredients:
1 chicken carcass (mine is a left over rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods)
Water to cover the carcass (it was about 2 cups)
1/2 large onion
2 cups celery leaves and stalks
3 carrots, chopped
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
salt to taste (I used 10 grinds from my mill)
pepper to taste (1 used 4 grinds from my mill)

Directions:
Chuck it all in a stock pot. Add water to cover all ingredients. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, then drop to cook on medium for an hour – if not more.
(I’m working on baby nap time here, so I’m thinking I can get a good hour and a half today.) Yep, that’s what I got!

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When everything has melted down and has that nice yummy smell, strain it and let it cool, and strain any lingering fat off the top and pop it in the freezer for use later. You can also use it now for soup!

What’s cooking good looking!

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After it’s cooked as long as you can possibly stand it….you are left with this simmery goodness.

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Amy Ricketts spends her daylight hours as a marketing professional, with experience in the financial, tech and consulting sectors.  She loves to write, and obsesses about all aspects of food (including purchasing, cooking and eating!). She resides in Hingham with her husband and very hungry toddler and can be reached at amyricketts@gmail.com

For more by Amy Ricketts, check out her fritters recipe: The Zucchini Solution (and an ice cream substitution!)

About eSS&SC

The South Shore and South Coast has been home to hunting, gathering, fishing, farming––and great eating––for over 10,000 years. We are committed to identifying, devouring, and sharing all that Southeastern Massachusetts has to offer today and preserving local options for future generations.
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2 Responses to Taking Stock of the Situation

  1. Pingback: The Great ‘Scape – Garlic Scape Carbonara | edible South Shore Blog

  2. Pingback: Perfect Pasta Salad | edible South Shore Blog

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