Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Cupboard: Pantry Essentials

The Cupboard: Pantry Essentials: I love to cook, and I tried to be a chef once. I had the skill, but not the temperament.  Imagine Hell's Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey six days a week. I really didn't have a thick skin back then, but I keep cooking as one of my pride and joys to spoil...


Here is my response to Sarah’s post:

Hi Sarah,
Since becoming unable to work a normal job, I've taken over the cooking too. Our household has saved a lot of money. However, there have been some creative disasters. For instance, I had gotten a whole chicken from the butcher and after picking it clean was wanting to use the bones to make my own stock. Unfortunately, terms like "simmer" are kind of subjective, as are cooking times because everyone's stove is different.

Here is the recipe I used:
Recipe Notes
Recipe yields 2 quarts (64 oz.).
1 entire cooked or raw chicken
3-4 carrots carrots
1 large onion
4-5 stalks of celery
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
4 bulbs crushed garlic
1. Place your chicken in a large pot with vegetables, and enough water to completely cover -at
least 4 quarts.
2. Bring to a boil and skim foam off the top as it cooks, reduce to a simmer. Cook chicken for an
3. If using a whole chicken- Take chicken out pot, remove meat for other recipes.
4. Return bones and skin to pot and simmer for 3-4 hours, skimming the top as needed.
5. Turn off heat, skim off the fat, strain broth through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove small
particles. Allow to cool.
6. Place in an airtight container or freezer bag to store.
7. Chicken stock can be stored in refrigerator for 3 days or freezer for up to 3 months. This recipe makes about 3 quarts.

So when simmering in my little stockpot, I usually have to put the burner setting down to 2. However, I was using my Dutch oven for this product, and I had still waters with a 2. I had to turn the burner up to 6 to see a simmer. Granted, I should have been checking on the recipe more often, but I was doing this at night because I didn't want to heat the house up during the day, and I fell asleep. I woke up at four hours on the dot and hurried to the kitchen. What I found was not stock, but sludge. I had a kitchen nightmare, to be sure.

I'm thinking that I will reduce the simmering time after removing the meat from the bones to two hours rather than four.
You are welcome to use my kitchen nightmare as a future post, should you wish to!

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