Monday, April 2, 2007

Homemade Chicken Stock

Bubble bubble, toil and trouble.

Passover is my favorite holiday. I'm not Jewish, but I've attended enough seders to answer at least two of the Four Questions, find an afikoman, and cultivate an unfettered obsession with matzah (matzo? matzoh?) ball soup.

Also, the Iron Cheffiness of a week without leavening really tickles my fancy.

The beauty of matzah ball soup is it's simplicity: light, fluffy, slightly rich dumplings floating in flavorful broth. Since "make it from scratch" is my credo, I've taken to making my own chicken broth, and this dish highlights a homemade stock perfectly.

Chicken Stock for Shiksas

1 1/2 - 2 lbs chicken bones/carcass, either deboned yourself from a whole chicken, or purchased from your favorite meatmonger

2 c mixed onion, carrot, and celery, roughly chopped

1 bouquet garni (mix of herbs used for stocks, sold together; or make your own with fresh parsley, thyme, and bay leaf)

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 clove

6 peppercorns

2-3 quarts water

Add bones, veggies, and seasonings to pan, pour over water. Bring to boil, then let simmer 2-3 hours. Ladle broth through sieve to remove solids. Refrigerate stock overnight, then lift off any surface fat with a slotted spoon. Makes ~2 quarts stock.

Use that tasty stock within 3 days, or else pour cold stock into ice cube trays and freeze, storing up to 6 months.

Tomorrow: matzah balls!

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