Archive for October 16th, 2011

16th October
written by Arthur

Finally.  Only a modest amount of weekend work.  No trips to Atlantic City.  No out of town visitors to lure me off to adventures through the city.  And, best of all, the Vikings play the night game.  On a normal Sunday, the only way for me to watch the Vikes is to head into the city to Bar None (MN Vikings bar here in the Big Apple).  Don’t get me wrong.  I love taking down $9 pitchers of beer with fellow fans, but it’s a full day investment.  Today  is different.  Today I get football–at home–and some great fall cooking.

Today was chicken stock and some chili action which is to be shared with a few Bear friends as they watch Chicago fall to the mighty land of ice and snow.

Chicken Stock

Chicken stock is just a good thing to have around.  It pops up in more recipes than you might think.  And while you can buy it at the super market it just doesn’t have the depth of flavor of the homemade stuff.

The first step: cook a whole chicken.  I like to roast it with some veggies.  But it doesn’t matter much how you cook it; you’re after the picked-over bones.  If you’re not going to make the stock for a few days you can just freeze the remainder of the bird until you’e ready for stock time.

When you are ready to start, there isn’t a “right way” to make chicken stock.  Basically, you take whatever is left of the chicken and  put it in a pot with a bunch of water, some chopped celery (and/or celeriac), chopped carrots, and a few herbs.  Then you let it all cook for a 7-9 hours, run it through a fine mesh strainer to get a nice pure liquid that is free of all of the small chicken bones.  But for those of you looking for an actual recipe, below is an ingredient list courtesy of  Alton Brown:


  • 4 pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2
  • 4 ribs celery, cut in 1/2
  • 1 leek, white part only, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 to 10 peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 gallons cold water
Today, I went a little hardcore on the garlic–using maybe 3/4 of a bulb. I used two fresh bay leaves and 2 dry and probably 6 carrots and 6 celery sticks.  But I stuck with the 10 sprigs of thyme since I feel like that flavor can get out of control.
So now you have a ton of chicken stock.  It’ll keep in the fridge for a few days, but if you aren’t ready to use it all before it goes bad, it will keep in the freezer for months.  When freezing, keep in mind the volumes you are going to be using in the future.  One large container might become frustrating for a recipe where you only need a cup.
Six hours and one and a half football games after I put the pot on the stove, the stock is still simmering away.   Football Sunday is a prefect day to re-stock on stock.