Saturday, September 27, 2008

beauty & the stockpot

Finally, I made it down to the Saturday Farmer's Market on the PSU campus. I grabbed my produce bag and set out on foot to gather items for my assignment of the day: chicken stock.

 Have you ever had homemade chicken stock? Not only is it so incredibly nutritious (the Jewish penicillin?) but it is so much more delicious than anything you buy in a can or box. I learned how to make it when I lived in England and just started to make it for our use recently. My favorite recipe is from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions book - once you read this book you will NEVER look at your food the same. 

The recipe I use follows the lovely pictures below.

There's nothing like the fall harvest...

Chicken Stock

Adapted from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions

1 whole free-range chicken or 2-3 pounds bony chicken parts*
gizzards & feet (optional)
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped*
1 bunch parsley

(I couldn't afford the farmer's market celery today so I substituted zucchini, which has great adrenal support properties. * Free-range/Organic is important - battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.)

- Cut chicken into parts, place in large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar, and all veggies except the parsley. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour. 

- Bring to a boil and remove foam that comes to the top. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. The longer you cook the stock that richer it will be. Check the chicken pieces frequently for the first 1-2 hours. When the meat is done, take out the pieces, cut the meat off the bone, and return bones to pot. Reserve meat for other uses.

- 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add the parsley. 

- Strain stock into large bowl and cool in fridge until fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim this off and reserve stock in containers in the fridge or freezer.

- Personally, I freeze some stock in ice cube trays to plop in with rice, potatoes, etc. to give it a super flavor. I also fill some quart-sized freezer bags to use for soup. 

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