Saturday, December 20, 2014

Stock Up

I don't buy cuts of chicken from the grocery store anymore.  I prefer whole birds because they are much more versatile.  A whole chicken can provide several more meals after the meat is consumed.  This applies to any bird; chicken, turkey, duck, or goose all work for this.  Don't settle for just the meat off the bones.
After dressing the bird, put the carcass in a stock pot, cover it with water, and put it on to a low boil.  Boil until everything falls apart then strain out the bones and other solids and reduce the stock.
Moments later, the camera fell in.

Reduction is a cooking term which just means to keep boiling off the water to concentrate a liquid and reduce its volume.  Since this recipe started with enough water to cover the bird in a stock pot we can get a reduction down to easily half the original volume.  For a fryer size chicken in a one gallon stock pot, I usually end up with about a quart of stock at the end.
Now this stock can be used as the base for any soup or stew recipe which calls for it.  If your three sisters harvest came up better than mine then corn, beans, and squash is a great vegetable combination to use for this.