Stepford Ct Wife

Stepford Ct Wife
Art by Anne Taintor

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lesson 1.1: How To Make White Chicken Stock

I could not find assorted chicken parts except for the neck. I was kind of confused about where/how to get chicken parts (neck bones, wings and back). I talked to the butcher at Stop and Shop who helped me in a hurried manor. You can find chicken neck bones near the other cuts of chicken (at least at this Stop and Shop). The chicken neck bones are at the top of the shelves and are not at eye level -- which is not a surprise because they are gruesome. It took me twenty-five minutes to shop just for the stock and chicken soup today. It did not help that I was in a bigger and less organize Stop and Shop than I was used to--I burned 4 weight watcher points trying to find the leeks and doing the rest of my shopping! Yes, Leeks are not even used until further on in the chicken soup lessons.

 I had a lot of goodies in my cart today. I was proud that I had mostly good vegetables and "better-for-you-food" in my cart. I filled my cart with odd organ meats (to make homemade dog biscuits), five packages of chicken neck bones, five pounds of Beef bones, eight yellow onions, two red onion, five things of garlic, bundle of leeks, fresh spices, five pounds of carrots, two pounds of celery, fifteen pounds of flour, five pounds of wheat flour, five pounds of small things of tomato paste, five pounds of tomatoes, Oranges, lemons, limes and sugar cereals/ Pop-tarts for my husband (among other items).

  I pre-read the recipes a couple of times but not this morning. While I was making the chicken stock recipe I did not realize how long it would take to make the chicken stock. It takes a long time to make the chicken stock. It does not take too long to prep the food, then it takes two and half hours to boil/simmer the stock and then one has to strains the chicken stock. After the chicken stock is strained it has to go into a heat resistant bowl/container it has to cool. Then it is put into the fridge so that the fat of the stock and separate -- that takes 8 hours!!! So I was hoping to make chicken soup tonight for my hubby but I cannot. But that is okay because I started at 2:00 pm and it took me until 6:00 pm to finish. During the down times I washed dishes, had lunch, strained at least every fifteen minutes the pot and I also prepared for the chicken soup lesson 1.2. I was also kind of confuse when to add the vegetables so I boiled it for about thirty minutes first.

  For the chicken stock you cut the onions into eights but for the chicken soup you need to cut into cubes. I need to work cutting the onion and pulling off the skin. I was looking through the basics again and I obviously could cut the onions into eights but I messed up on cutting the onion into cubes. You should actually take the skin off of the onion (which I did but not swiftly) and then slice it lengthwise. But here is where I messed up because I went into my normal routine you are not suppose to cut all the way through. So one would cut the onion almost all the way horizontally repeatedly then it would easily fall into cubes when the chef cut it perpendicularly. I chopped it the hard way and not uniformly. But since I am actually not a real cooking school I can say that I just cut it rustically and move on. However I do plan to go back through the basics section and do it correctly!

  At first I was quite confused why I had to make a chicken stock when tomorrow when I make chicken soup I have to make the stock again. It does not explain in Martha's book how to just start off the chicken soup recipe using the chicken broth. But flipping through the book I saw Tortilla soup on page 47 which starts off using the white chicken sauce. Supposedly the Tortilla soup needs to start off with the chicken stock unlike the chicken soups which need to start off with water. I was thinking of trying to use the recipe starting off with the broth but I have to cut 4 lbs of a whole chicken, take it out then put it back in the soup. I want to be able to time it better. I also need to get a Meat Thermometer tomorrow! I did not realize that I would already need a meat thermometer, I thought I would need it when I would start roasting.

  To make the white beef stock it takes seven pounds of meat bones or four pounds meat bones and two pounds of oxtail or short ribs. You add in to the white chicken stock recipe (minus the chicken of course): four crushed garlic cloves, six sprigs of parsley, two basil leaves, two tablespoons peppercorn and four sprigs thyme. Then supposedly you have to simmer it for eight! hours-- simmer not put in a fridge! The you strain, skim off the fat and you store. I wish that I knew that because I bought (only) five pounds of different beef bones and I think they are only good for another day or two...

  I am tired! I think maybe the hour plus that I was food shopping with my mother-in-law in combination with act of dragging up two flights of stairs the heavy groceries by myself. But I got my weight watcher points burned and I am too tired to eat! I just want to watch "Miss Congeniality" on E! and not have to think/move

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