1 new shiny meat cleaver + 6 discarded chicken backs = liquid gold
Why didn't anyone tell me how enjoyable it is to wield a meat cleaver? At first, I was timid and it took a few chops to make it through the bone. But then I moved my hand farther back on the handle and extended my swing and... BOOM goes the dynamite! I could chop all day. Unfortunately, my plastic cutting mat wasn't up to the challenge - see exhibit A.
I specifically bought the cleaver so I could make chicken stock. I'm as lazy as the next cook, so I usually use canned chicken broth. But it's not available in here, or at least I haven't found any yet. Apparently everyone here uses instant bouillon. I admit that canned chicken broth is not great, but bouillon? Perhaps I'm being a food snob, but isn't instant bouillon just chicken-flavored chemical-ridden salt dust? Perhaps you're asking the same questions I ask myself every time I make a soup, stew, or sauce:
- Has canned chicken broth not yet crossed the Atlantic?
- Or do people here simply prefer instant bouillon to stock?
- Or do they not cook things that require stock?
I've resolved to end my year of cooking with instant bouillon and make my own chicken stock. This journey began by saving and freezing the backs of each Chicken Marbella chicken I cut up. Six short weeks later my freezer was full and I was ready to attempt alchemy. No drama here - it was easy, quick, and tasty. I used half of it to make chicken noodle soup (I even made my own noodles - woohoo for me). Then I froze 1/4 cup portions in muffin tins so I can defrost only as much as I need. Now I'm all ready for cold weather cooking. I just need a bigger freezer.
Some helpful distinctions:
- stock - made with more bones than meat, which results in a fuller body than broth. Best for sauces.
- demi-glace - stock than has been drastically reduced (10-15% of original volume). Good for gravies and sauces.
- broth - made with more meat than bones, resulting in a fresher flavor but less body than stock. Ideal for soups.
This stock can be refrigerated in airtight containers for up to 4 days or frozen for 4 to 6 months.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion , chopped medium
4 pounds whole chicken legs or backs and wingtips, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 quarts water (boiling)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 bay leaves
2. Strain broth and discard solids. Before using, defat stock. After stock has been refrigerated, the fat hardens on the surface and is very easy to remove with a spoon. To defat hot stock, we recommend using a ladle or fat separator.