Oh my friends, I am HOME, itching from sunburn and lamenting the 40 degree temperatures, but mostly thrilled to be here. I missed my kitchen and my friends, but now I very much miss my Florida home and family.
I am working on getting unpacked and back and schedule, and trying to catch up with all the people I have been missing so terribly, but of course, the first thing I did was put a pot of chicken broth on the stove to restock the larder. Here is the recipe to hold you over until the real exciting cooking begins anew…(while I was down there I learned that I like CURRY!!! No kidding, there is some experimenting to come.)
You will see I like to add ginger and lemongrass to my stock if I have them in the house, even if I am not just using the stock for asian food. I like the extra pop of clean flavor that they add, but they are totally optional. When I buy lemongrass I trim both ends, peel the papery layers off and freeze them, they keep in the freezer beautifully. You may also choose not to salt the stock, in case you end up using it later with salty ingredients like sausage or soy sauce or the like.
Chicken Stock (makes 4-5 quarts)
6 lbs chicken wings
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
3 carrots, peeled and chopped in 4-5 pieces
3 stalks celery, peeled and chopped in 4-5 pieces
4 large cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
1 knob of ginger, about 2″ by 2″ peeled (optional)
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and papery layers removed, chopped in 4-5 pieces (optional)
small handful black peppercorns
pinch of kosher salt
4 bay leaves
In a large stock pot (I use a 12 qt. pot) cover the chicken wings with water and bring to a boil. Drain the chicken wings and set aside while you wash the pot. This initial boil will remove a lot of the gunk that you would end up straining off at the end. A quick step that helps a lot in the long run. Add the wings and all the remaining ingredients to the clean pot and cover with 6 quarts of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for several hours-5 or 6 is my standard. You can’t really overdo it. Let it sit on the stove while you are doing whatever else you have to do that day. Remove the solids from the stock by pouring it into another large pot or bowl through a colander. Wash the original pot, place back on the stove and set a strainer lined with cheesecloth over the top. (If you don’t have cheesecloth a paper towel or a coffee filter will work.) Pour the stock back into the original pot through the strainer. At this point you have a lovely clear stock that is ready for freezing. I like to freeze mine in ziploc bags two cups at a time.