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CI Jan/Feb'09 Chix Stock technique - WTH?

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CI Jan/Feb'09 Chix Stock technique - WTH?

greygarious | Dec 13, 2008 07:26 AM

The creator of this recipe should be dubbed "The Unfrugal Gourmet". He writes, "Sure, it made sense in the past as an economical way to get a second meal from the carcass of a spent bird. These days, however, spending hours to make a pot of soup from scraps and bones just isn't practical." I'd say that, on the contrary, these days it is close to mandatory for the average family!

He used a pound of ground chicken plus two breast halves to a mere quart of water (plus 2 qts canned broth). The idea is to speed the process of soupmaking but seems to fly in the face of CI's devotion to methods that are both successful and economical. This method takes well over an hour, so it's not as though you can come home from work, start making this soup, and have it on the table before your family faints from hunger. And with CI's chicken recipes typically calling for Bell&Evans, it was disconcerting to see the photo of a package of Perdue ground chicken.

I'd suspect this article of being an early April Fool's joke, were it not for the fact that, as with nearly all CI articles, there's something to be learned: 1) while boiling the stock makes it cloudy, it extracts the maximum flavor - so if your priority is clarity, use a long, low simmer technique. 2) The smaller the pieces in the stock, the more flavor. They maximized this by using ground chicken, but if you are using a carcass and/or parts for your stock, chopping into small chunks will boost flavor. 3) The blood around the joints of the dark meat imparts a mineral flavor to stock. I am assuming this applies when using raw parts, not a cooked carcass, and I would doubt that it's noticeable unless you are making stock from raw legs/thighs only. My own take-away lesson from this point is to expose the joints and briefly microwave these parts to coagulate these areas before adding the pieces to the stockpot.

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