Saturday, January 21, 2012
Roast Chicken and Chicken Stock
My wife loves when I make chicken stock. The stock simmers for hours, filling the house with its warm, earthy smell. It makes the house feel like a home in a way that throw pillows never can, no matter how practical or totally necessary throw pillows are. Okay, I hate throw pillows but I love chicken stock!
What makes chicken stock so wonderful is that you suck all of the flavor out of the parts of the chicken roast that you would ordinarily throw away. I'm a big fan of reducing waste in the kitchen. This means reducing wasted money, wasted food, and of course wasted flavor. And the night after a hearty roast chicken, you can throw together a soup with your freshly made stock and the leftover chicken from the previous meal.
Don't be tempted to skip the brining step. The brine is the difference between chicken that tastes like any old dry crap and "eat until you can't feel your face" good. You do need to prep it all the night before so it can sit in the brine for a day, but it is well worth it.
Also, I highly recommend purchasing (and using) a probe thermometer. Every roast you ever make will be cooked to perfection.
Print this recipe
Here's what you need for the Roast Chicken:
1 (3-5 pound) roaster chicken
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup table salt
5 bay leaves
4 stalks celery, roughly chopped
5 carrots, roughly chopped
2 large yellow onions, quartered
1 head arlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 orange, quartered
8 sprigs fresh thyme
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the brown sugar, table salt, and two bay leaves. Continue boiling until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove the brine from the heat and allow it to cool.
Put the chicken in a large bowl, breast side down, and pour in the brine. Add enough water to cover most of the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
Put the chicken on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Dump out the brine. Dry both the inside and outside of the chicken with paper towels. Preheat the oven to 475˙F.
Rough chop the celery, carrots, and onion. Smash the garlic. Place the vegetables in the roasting dish with the remaining bay leaves, 6 sprigs of thyme, and the chicken stock. Quarter the orange and place it in the chicken cavity. Tie the legs tight around the body of the chicken with kitchen twine and bend the wings back behind the body. Liberally apply olive oil all over the chicken. Season well with sea salt, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and the leaves of the remaining sprigs off thyme.
Put the chicken in the oven on the lowest rack position and immediately reduce the temperature to 400˙F. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 160˙F; about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove the roast from the oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving. Letting the chicken rest will both allow the chicken to finish coming up to the proper internal temperature and let the juices settle back into the meat so they don't leak out too much and try out the meat when you carve it.
So you have your fancy chicken dinner and you're back in the kitchen. Get all of your meat off of the chicken carcass and put any leftover chicken meat in tupperware. You'll be using it tomorrow in your soup!
When prepping your vegetables there is no need to peel or trim at all. All of the solids will be pulled out. I even put in the yellow onion skins which will add to the stock's golden color.
You can use any kind of bird you want when making stock; chicken, turkey, duck, etc. If you are making stock out of a larger bird (like a turkey) just add more vegetables.
Print this recipe
Here's what you need for the Chicken Stock:
5 carrots, rough chopped
6 stalks celery, rough chopped
2 medium yellow onions, quartered with skins
8 ounces Portabella mushrooms
8 cloves garlic, smashed
3 bay leaves
Rough chop your vegetables. Place all of the ingredients into a LARGE stock pot. Add enough water to cover everything (you don't need to fully cover the stuff that floats). Put the stock pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 hours, until the broth is flavorful and the carcass easily falls apart.
Get a LARGE bowl or another stock pot. Pour the stock through a colinder placed over the bowl. Throw out all of the solids. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the broth in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
The fat will seperate and collect on the top. Skim all of the fat off and discard.
Use your stock or freeze it for up to 6 months.