Sunday, February 08, 2009

Stocking up

Inspired by the Amateur Gourmet, I made some chicken stock today, featuring chicken backs. I usually make stock from chicken carcasses, leftover after making a roast chicken. In fact, I have one waiting in the freezer, which I only remembered after everything was in the pot (but that's okay — I'll just make more stock soon enough!). I enjoy making stock because, well, it's ridiculously easy, and it fills the apartment with a comforting and chicken-y scent. I also am of the belief that packaged stock is flavorless. While I've been known to buy boxed broth at the store, I decided it was high time I started regularly making my own to keep on hand in the freezer, so that I could infuse my food with as much flavor as possible.

Which is what makes this recipe so great: no need to wait till you've roasted a chicken to make stock. Considering I'm only cooking for one these days, the opportunity to roast a chicken doesn't typically present itself. (The carcass in the freezer is from a dinner party I threw before Thanksgiving.) Chicken backs are easy to come by. All you have to do is ask the butcher for them, and he'll go into the back to get them. I mean, all those other chicken parts come from a whole chicken, and the backs have to be somewhere, right?

Plus, chicken backs just look cool.

My adjustments to the recipe the AG used: I roughly chopped everything, instead of making everything all tidy and pretty like he did, since I was going to toss all the solids anyway. For that same reason, I included the onion skins and carrot greens. In fact, I've made stock with vegetable "leftovers" before — it's a great way to avoid wasting those parts when you don't have a way to compost.

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