Posts Tagged ‘chicken stock’

It’s very easy to make your own chicken stock. I’m as guilty as every one else in that I just don’t want to be troubled. You have to buy the ingredients, simmer for hours upon hours, and in the end, you still have to put the stock into containers and freeze them. This is not nearly as easy as picking up a box at the supermarket that you can keep in your pantry until you open it.

But in the spirit of healthier living, I wanted to experiment with making my own stock. The results were astonishing and I don’t think I can ever really go back to the boxed version unless I’m in a pinch. The flavor is much more rich and if you have a particular palette, you can tailor the stock to your exact specifications. Have a low sodium diet? This would work wonderfully for you too.

To speed up the process, I’ve used my pressure cooker here which cuts the entire experience and saved me more than 3 hours.

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 lbs chicken legs or thighs
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 8 peppercorns

1. Place the chicken in bottom of your pressure cooker. Cover with the vegetables, pepper corns, and 2 tbsp salt. Pour in 2 quarts of water (it should cover everything). Close the lid of the cooker and bring up to high pressure. When the pressure cooker is steaming, lower the heat to the lowest setting and allow to cook for 45 minutes.

2. After releasing the steam safely, line a colander with cheese cloth and place over another large pot or container. Pour the contents of the pressure cooker into the colander and let strain for 5 minutes. Keep the chicken for a future meal. Or, if you are making soup or chicken and dumplings perhaps, these vegetables are wonderful additions.

3. If you want to remove a large portion of the fat, let the chicken stock cool and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, the fat will have hardened which you can remove easily.

4. Stock will keep refrigerated for up to a week or freeze up to 6 months.

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I will never buy enchilada sauce again. There is always too much salt, never enough spices, and I don’t appreciate the level of heat when I have to pick between mild (too little) and hot (too much). I prefer a more subdued, whole-mouth spice, whereas much of the current enchilada sauces utilize cayenne pepper to supply heat. Cayenne is just painful too me and not enjoyable.

Ingredients

  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 6 oz water

1. Place a medium sized sauce pan over medium high heat. Melt the butter. When the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk together. Allow the roux to cook, constantly whisking, until the color changes from pale yellow to dirty blond.

2. Add the chile powder, cumin, sugar, and cinnamon to the roux. Whisk together. Add the chicken stock to the spiced roux and whisk together. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil.

3. When the mixture has thickened slightly, add the tomato paste and water to the sauce. Whisk until the tomato paste has been incorporated into the sauce. Bring the sauce back to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for at least 10 minutes.

4. Use the sauce immediately or allow to cool. This sauce will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week or you can freeze in an airtight container.

I have spoken to by the culinary gods. No, not the prophets Keller, Bayless, or Lo (Flay is not a prophet, no matter what Food Network might say), but by the real culinary gods that live on Mount Cuisine. This is an image of the oil that was formed in my saute pan during this recipe and clearly you can see the image of Chow tossing salt over his shoulder while yielding his mighty whisk in his right hand. I’ve been touched. Consequently, I wanted to get this tattooed on my arm to honor the gods, but my wife told me I couldn’t. Sad. I can only hope that this photographic offering satisfies their thirst.

This recipe uses chicken sausage which is a much more healthy alternative to other sausages and is showing up more and more in local grocery stores. It is just as delicious as it’s beefy brother and equally as versatile. Peppers are in season, and I couldn’t resist making a colorful confetti in white rice. This is a quick and easy weekday meal that is sure to satisfy.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 1 lb Chicken Sausage (or whatever sausage you like)
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 1 small orange pepper
  • 3 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 2 c long grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp butter

1. Begin by cleaning your rice. Place the rice in a bowl or a fine mesh strainer. Pour water over the rice and drain each time until the water is clear.

Note: This process removes a lot of the starch and makes the rice less gummy. If you are using a bowl, fill the bowl with water, swish the rice with your hands, and then drain carefully. If you are using a fine mesh strainer, rinse the rice until the water that comes out is clear-ish (the third picture, is clear-ish water)

2. Add the chicken stock and butter to a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and stir once – ONCE. Bring back to a boil. Cover and turn off the heat. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Note: If you stir your rice too much, it’s going to bring out more starch and become almost slimy. Let it rest and absorb the chicken stock. Trust the rice, it knows what it’s doing.

3. Cut each pepper in half and scoop of the seeds and the white membrane. Dice the peppers into 1/4″ cubes. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt to taste. Set aside.

4. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a non stick saute pan over medium high heat. When the oil is smoking, add the chicken sausage and brown on one side. Turn over to brown the other side. Add 1/4c chicken stock to the pan and cover. Turn the heat down to simmer. The sausages will finish cooking by steaming.

5. After 10 minutes, take the sausages out and set on a cutting board to rest. When the rice has finished, add the peppers to the rice and stir to incorporate. In the picture, you can see why we used three different colors of pepper. You could use green peppers as well, but they are not nearly as sweet as the three used in this recipe.

6. Cut the sausage on the bias. Spoon a healthy serving of rice on a plate and place a cut sausage around the rice.