Multitasking in the Kitchen: Chicken Stock for Breakfast?



Farmer Bob's chicken stock is ready for the stove. Photo by Sue Frause.

As much as I enjoy the times when I travel and roam, I love weekends at home. And no surprise that Saturdays and Sundays are my favorite days of the week. Maybe because Farmer Bob is always cookin' up something yummy, and I never know what to expect from one meal to the next. 

Unlike me, Bob is great at multi-tasking in the kitchen. If I'm baking (which I did last week, Snickerdoodles, oh so good!), that's all I'm doing. But Saturday morning was a perfect example of Bob doing more than one task at once. Not only was he preparing a yummy breakfast, including his Foolproof Soft-Cooked Eggs via Cooks Illustrated, he was cleaning out the fridge and freezer. 

And no, he wasn't dumping all the sad, limp veggies into the chicken bucket that's housed under our sink (we're on a septic system and don't have a garbage disposal, so our hens benefit from all the leftovers). He was chopping and throwing everything into a pot. The result is a wonderful chicken stock. 

Farmer Bob's Chicken Stock

Ingredients

Chicken backs and chicken parts
Vegetables
Onions
Sea Salt and Pepper Corns

1. Use the chicken backs and unused chicken parts that have been in your freezer. They're just taking up room, and you probably won't be making a meal out of them anytime soon. 

2. Use celery stalks and carrots that have been sitting in your veggie bin far too long, they're perfect for stock. You'll also need a large onion, so use that lonely half onion in the drawer as well as those tired scallions. 

3. Put the chicken backs and parts into a large stock pot. Cut up the rest of the veggies into large chunks (don't worry about the size). If you have other veggies like mushrooms or beans, toss those in. I haven't tried using lettuce yet, but who knows? It may work too, I need to read up on that. 

4. Add water to the pot (I use an 8-qt. stock pot). Fill the pot half full with the chicken parts and veggies, and then fill with water to a couple of inches from the top. Add sea salt and pepper corns to taste, usually a tablespoon of each.

5. Place pot on burner and bring to a near boil, but DO NOT BOIL. Turn burner down to simmer and let cook on low heat for 3-4 hours. This gets all the good stuff out of the meat and veggies. Stir occasionally. When done, take pot off stove and let cool a bit. Strain chicken and veggies from the stock, and use the chicken meat for something else if you wish. Cover stock pot and put in refrigerator overnight to let any grease float to the top and harden. Scrape the fat off the top and your stock is ready to use; it will keep up to a week or so in the fridge. I usually keep out what I'm going to use during the week and then freeze the rest in plastic containers.

6. That's it. Have fun!

Farmer Bob's Foolproof Soft-Cooked Eggs. Photo by Sue Frause.

Comments