July 1st, 2012

My new favourite way to make chicken stock


Why is it my favourite? Because it’s very very VERY easy, tastes delicious, and very hard to mess up.


You start with your regular stock ingredients: a whole, good quality, free-range chicken (this is important), carrots, celery, parsley, shiitake mushrooms, onions, salt, and whole peppercorns. Split the skin of the chicken between the thigh and the breast, pack all the bits in to a pot and cover with cold water. (Sounds normal so far).

How is it different to a regular stock recipe? This is how: bring it to the boil, but just before it comes to the boil, place a well-fitting lid on, and tie it in place. Now remove from the heat and allow to cool.


Do not lift the lid until cool! (This is why you tie it on: to remind you not to peek).


Once cool, you can remove all the bits, skim off the fat, and strain the stock. What has happened is the chicken has slowly poached as the pot has cooled (it should take a few hours), the flavour from the bones and vegetables is now in the liquid, and you didn’t even have to simmer it or watch it.

The chicken itself ¬†will be a lovely, succulent poached chicken. It won’t be quite cooked through, but it will brown up beautifully in the oven or in a frying pan. I like to joint the chicken, render the fat from any small pieces and bits of skin, and keep the large pieces for another meal or to use in soup. I’ve started to prefer chicken done this way to regular roast chicken: you can even flavour the chicken by adding things (like cinnamon, or a whole lot more garlic) to the stock at the start.


The end result is a lovely flavourful clear stock (here I am reducing it to freeze as stock cubes). I always make my chicken stock this way now (3 times so far, more to come).




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