One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy,
but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm BAAA-ack...

...and ready to start cooking!

First order of business: stock up on stock. Nothing beats homemade chicken stock, and since I had depleted my stash, I got out my 21-quart "cauldron". I use Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa's) recipe. I found 10-pound bags of chicken leg quarters for only $7.90, so two bags of the leg quarters went into the stockpot. I followed the rest of the recipe pretty much as written, though I simmered the stock a little longer. When it was done cooking, I let it rest for a while, and then skimmed the stock, strained it, and chilled it overnight, which allowed the fat to solidify on top - much easier to remove that way! My efforts resulted in 8 quarts of stock. Liquid gold!

I decided to immediately take advantage of some of the stock by making one of my favorite soups: Butternut Squash Soup with Port. It's creamy and rich with no cream (though I did use a few drops to garnish the soup - purely optional, of course!) I even left out the 2 tablespoons of butter that was to be stirred into the soup just before serving. I didn't even miss it. At all. It's been rainy and the temperatures have dropped a little bit - it's starting to feel like autumn and this soup was perfect for an autumn evening. A little crostini to go with, and I can almost see the leaves changing colors before my eyes -

Chicken Stock

3 (5-pound) roasting chickens
3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half, optional
20 sprigs fresh parsley
15 sprigs fresh thyme
20 sprigs fresh dill
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a 16 to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids. Chill the stock overnight. The next day, remove the surface fat. Use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

Source: Copyright, 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style


La Table De Nana said...

I agree home made stock is sensationally better than bought..You have quite a reserve there..I wish I did too..soon..and welcome back nana..Love the new header~

Linda said...

Missed ya baby!
Welcome back!

Cathy said...

It's so good to see your posts again, Lori. Chicken stock is liquid gold in my kitchen. Looks like you made enough to last awhile. But then...maybe not. I'm looking forward to trying your butternut squash recipe.

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Mmmm...I JUST made another batch of stock last week using Ina's recipe. The only thing I change is I roast the veggies with a bit of olive oil for about an hour first. The end result looks more like beef stock, but I find it intensifies the flavor so it has been worth the extra effort. It os such a good feeling to have stock in the freezer, isn't it! I used my 1st two quarts for potato leek soup! Cause it's that time of year!

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Welcome back Miss Lori ~ you've been MISSED!

Yum that Butternut Squash Soup looks delish, love the idea of adding Port.

xo ~m

PS Love, love, love your new header!

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

Thank you, my friends!!

Farmgirl Cin, I love the idea of roasting the vegetables first! I will definitely do that the next time I make stock. Thanks for the tip!

Parmesan et Paprika said...

a great idea!!!Thank you Lori!!

Kathy Walker said...

Homemade stock is the best! Never tried Ina's recipe may switch over this year.

Lori said...

I like this stock up on stock idea. THe only thing I would do differently is roast the chicken and onions. It really add a lot of flavor.

Ginger said...

That sounds delicious and actually very cost effective!! Do you save the chicken meat for anything or does that get thrown away to? Thanks for sharing this and have a great week!!

Pam said...

Welcome back! The Butternut Squash soup looks divine! We are having Butternut squash Soup tomorrow night at our Holiday Girls Dinner. I think I'll make your recipe!
Your stock looks wonderful. It is liquid gold. You just can't buy that flavor. I keep 2 different types of stock in my kitchen, a white chicken stock, and a brown stock. I roast the chicken bones and veggies in the oven before making the stock. That way I have whatever I need when the time comes. Pam

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

The Gypsy Chef, thanks for the tip!

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