Monday, November 11, 2013

'Tis the season for soup

Since I have to accept that I can no longer walk out of my house in bare feet, well without them freezing off, I have decided that I will embrace soup making. And any good soup needs to start with a good stock. I have attempted vegetarian broths but never beef broth, so my standard tried and true method is with chicken. Get a good chicken, preferably one that has not been injected with any kind of solution or hormones. Who really wants to eat a side a hormones along with their soup? Not me!
So anyway, the preparation is fairly straightforward. Take all your ingredients and put them in a pot, add water to cover, bring to a boil then reduce the heat so that the water is at a very slow simmer. And when I say slow I mean like you see one bubble every few seconds or so. Please do not boil your bird to death, I mean, it's already dead but you get my drift.
If you're using a whole chicken, let it simmer for an hour or so, remove it, let it cool then remove all the meat. Put the carcass back in the pot and let it go for an additional couple of hours. Do not be afraid to leave it all afternoon, just add some additional water if need be. If you are just starting out with a carcass, you can do everything the same and just let it simmer for four hours or so, or longer if you have the time.
Once you feel you have sufficiently extracted every ounce of flavor out of your ingredients, strain them and keep the broth. For an even clearer broth, use a cheesecloth to strain again. Then there you go, you did it, amazing!! Now you have stock or broth or whatever you want to call it! Use it right away or cool and then refrigerate or freeze. Do not let it sit around for long on the counter because bacteria love this stuff. Now, go make risotto, or soup or broth ice cubes! Enjoy!!

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