Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Making Stock: Part One

Watching Good Eats has some advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that it's immensely entertaining and you end up learning a lot about cooking! The disadvantages are the time and money ones. I see AB do things on his show that I decide I MUST try at home!

Recently I was watching his True Brew IV episode about making chicken stock and decided I must do it! Since I learned from AB how to cut up chickens, I've been saving their carcasses in my freezer with the anticipation of making my own, but didn't really know where to start!

Last Sunday was a relatively quiet day around the house, so I decided that I would give it a shot! First, I took my frozen chickens out of the freezer and let them sit out a bit just to get a little unfrozen, then added them into my 12 qt. stockpot like this:

While those were sitting, I ran around to a few stores to get all my ingredients as outlined in the
Chicken Stock recipe. I cut them up and then threw them in the pot. Here's the before picture:

After letting it simmer and smell delicious all day, the really stressful part was trying to get the stock to cool to below 40 degrees to get it out of the "danger zone"!! I had borrowed a cooler from my sis-in-law to give it an ice bath, but the pots I was planning on using didn't fit! So there was a lot of jockeying and it was really kind of stressful as I thought of all those bacteria multiplying in my "liquid love" (as Alton puts it!). It ended up taking about 1 1/2 hours. Not too bad!

The true test was last night. I let it refrigerate overnight and it's supposed to take on a gelatinous texture, but when I checked it, it had not. So, I took AB's advice once more and reduced it. Now I'm just waiting to go home to see if it set properly!!! Cross your fingers for me!!


Dawn said...

Wow. I think that I will probably continue buying my chicken stock! LOL! Just kidding...once I get more time on my hands I'll have to try this out. I know that buying chickens whole is the way to go for saving money and who can say no to a good stock. How did the stock taste?

Stephanie said...

I don't know. I tasted it the first night, but not the second night when I reduced it.

It really does make you appreciate buying stock in a can. I can't wait to make a soup out of it!