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Jason Mitchell | Jun 23, 2002 02:52 AM

Okay, so it's 1:30 am saturday night/sunday morning and i'm on a message board on the oh so fab World Wibe Web. Yes, everyone I know and love is at work/out of town. And yes I'm drinking. Snakebites (guiness and woodchuck cider). What to say? Just trying to cool off after bakin' that sweat, crispy flesh and c-note casserole at the big Evanston art fair.

Anyhow, I just finished browsing a thread from a few months back about risotto and, eventually, stock recipes. Which got me curious as to what all you chowhoundin' fools have in your various fridges for soup fodder and sauce bases.

Myself, I freeze all bones from all cooked chicken (as well as raw backs and wing tips, duh). Every few weeks I buy a whole chicken (preferably a good guy who lived with a beak and all that other good stuff from the life of the luxuriant poultry), and simmer it with those evergood stock veggies (parsley, carrot, celery, clove-spiked onion, etc., etc.) and some spices. After an hour I pull the bird out and debone it. The new bones and the scraps from the last few weeks go back in the pot, and everything simmers for another hour or so. The flesh from the fresh bird is frozen. This gives me a strong, flavorful stock for soups and reduction sauces (and the rare-rare [talkin' mike jordan rookie card rare]risotto), and lots of perfectly cooked boneless frozen chicken for soups, salads, chilaquiles and whatnot. It's dirt cheap and awfully little work to boot.

To me, this is an extremely economical and easy method. I don't, except on rare occasions, deal with beef or veal stock, and I must say there are few times in life I find a dish suffers from my substituting chicken stock for another stock--a shellfish bisque obviously needs a stock built on fleshy fish heads and spines, but otherwise...

All this is by the way of finding tips and hints I can mooch from other home cooks, so if you please...? Much love,


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