Chicken stock

If you cook, you need chicken stock. It’s the basis of many soups, sauces, and other dishes and an ingredient used in cuisines all over the world. But all chicken stock is not the same. To get a good chicken stock, you can’t just pick a can off a shelf. You have to make it yourself and you have to make it from the best ingredients. It really makes a difference.

Chicken stock is, then, much like design. Both are basic and both require the best ingredients. To achieve a product or process that works and doesn’t create harm, you must design it right. To know how to design it right, you need a thorough design education, quality materials, and time for creativity.

As a student, I’m building up my design pantry. I’ve got the chicken stock down pat.

Here’s my recipe for chicken stock:

    Chicken Stock
  • 1 whole fryer, preferably organic free-range
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, washed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters or eighths
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves or a handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • About a Tbs of salt (to taste)

    Remove any giblets from the chicken’s cavity and wash the chicken well under cold water. Wash the neck and giblets too if you want to add them to the pot. Some cooks don’t like to add the liver, but I don’t think it matters.

    Combine all ingredients, including the neck and giblets, in a deep stockpot and add enough cold water to cover the chicken by about 1-1/2″. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and slowly simmer, uncovered, about 1-1/2 hours or until the leg feels really loose when you wiggle it and the meat is tender.

    Pour the stock through a strainer into a large bowl or pot. Taste it and add more salt if necessary. That’s your stock. Use it now, or seal it in containers and freeze it for the future.

    Let the chicken cool until you can handle it, then pick all the meat off the bones, discarding the skin and bones and anything unappetizing (give this part to your dog, but never any bones!). This is easier if the chicken is still warm than if the meat has completely cooled. Now you have several cups of wonderfully flavorful cooked chicken to use in another recipe or freeze for later.

Ideas for the chicken: chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie, chicken enchiladas, chicken salad, creamed chicken on toast, chicken sandwiches, chicken and rice casserole, etc.

Adapted from my mother’s recipe. Happy Birthday, Dani!

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