It’s Friday, and that means is a rest day. Whoo hoo!
So instead of a workout, I’m going to post a recipe for something I mentioned earlier this week: chicken stock!
Yes, I know chicken stock does not sound quite as exciting as, say, the steaks with tarragon mashed potatoes and mushroom sherry sauce that Luke and I prepared, cooked and dined upon this evening. However, chicken stock is an essential ingredient. In fact, I used in in my dinner tonight. AND, Andy drank a mug full after being sick all day.
He started feeling much better after drinking it.
Chicken stock is really easy with the pressure cooker. I made more than 2 quarts during breakfast one morning.
Stock is also amazing. It’s delicious, nutritious and CHEAP. It’s possible to make it with or without bones. You know me – I eat meat – so I recommend WITH bones. However, for my vegetarian friends, I highly recommend the recipes of Deborah Madison from her amazing cookbook: Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone. Andy and I found great success with her vegetable stocks and that cookbook is a must in all kitchens, not just vegetarian ones. I like her philosophy of vegetarian cooking, and the dishes can easily be paired with meat.
Moving on. Stock made from bones. We’ve made beef and fish, but mostly we make chicken.
We get a broiler every week from Richardson Farms. We freeze the leftover bones, by throwing them in a bag throughout the week. When the bag is full, we make stock.
We use the stock in a ton of different recipes, so usually it just stays in the fridge for a week until it’s used up. But sometimes we freeze it in a muffin tin, then pop them out and store them in a bag in the freezer. That way we can easily measure out 1/2 cup amounts to recipes that need it.
You can use all sorts of leftover vegetables to flavor your stock. Cooks Illustrated says the most important is onion, so don’t go without it. But there are also some things you shouldn’t use in stock, including onion skins and vegetables from the cabbage family.
Here’s our go-to recipe:
Brummer’s Basic Stock
We keep everything leftover from the roast chickens and throw them in a bag in the freezer
One onion cut into chunks is perfect. It doesn’t have to be cut up all fancy-like. Don’t use the skins.
Celery and carrots
I use whatever I find in the fridge, which is usually carrots and celery. the amounts are up to you, but generally I don’t use more celery than carrot. You don’t even have to peel them. Just wash them off, break them up and toss them in the pan.
I use our filtered water just to make sure it’s free of off-putting tastes.
Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in your pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for several minutes.
Add carrots and celery and saute several more.
Add leftover chicken bones. Amount will vary, but generally, put enough to fill the pressure cooker to its “bell.” Saute several minutes.
Add water to cover the veggies and bones, just above the bell. Add a good pinch of salt and any herb you may want to use, stems and all. (I recommend parsley.)
Clamp on the lid and lock into place. Heat at medium high until button indicator pops out and shows pressure has been reached. Turn down heat to maintain low hiss and process for 45 minutes.
Remove pot from heat. Open ONLY when the button indicator shows pressure has dropped. Drain stock away from used veggies and bones. Pour into containers and store for up to a week in the fridge, longer in the freezer.