Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Stock


Stock...the backbone for many a magnificent dish. The silent foundation from which springs a plethora of culinary delights. And homemade stock...comforting and oh-so-classic, and much better than anything else you can get in a can or a cube (of course, when the luxury of time allows). Now that I have my very own kitchen, like a tempting blank page that beckons me to wreak havoc on it, I am finding myself drawn to making homey, "hearth"-y, things like, well...stock.

As fate would have it, all the elements conveniently presented themselves to me as leftovers from other dishes. Chicken backs cut from the thighs I used for Parmesan Chicken. Carrots, celery, and fresh thyme left over from a batch of Osso Buco. Extra parsley from a gremolata. Onions...well, onions are always hiding away in the cupboard. I happily consulted a couple of recipes, and decided on the one from the Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook (a wonderful present from the sweetest girl in-charge of the cookbooks at my favorite bookstore). When I reviewed the recipe versus the amount of chicken I had though, I realized I was sadly lacking. I had about 1/4th the amount of chicken called for! Ok, so I wasn't going to be making a momma batch of stock (just take a look at the picture above, definitely Baby Bear's portion)...well, that wasn't about to stop my domestic efforts!


Instead of the original 2.5 kilos of chicken backs (and necks, although I didn't have any) called for, I only had about 700 grams, so I had to reduce everything else. After that, everything was just a free-for-all of estimation. I dumped in chunks of carrots, onion, celery, some fresh parsley and thyme, and a bay leaf (and, I cannot tell a lie, some salt!). I reduced the water to something like 4 cups or so...and ended up with a further reduced, just-over-two cups of magically concentrated golden elixir. Talk about serious flavor! No wonder they say chicken soup cures everything. It tasted like warm liquid comfort.

That's it above, after it's been strained. I let it cool, skimmed of the fat (sorely tempted to use it to fry some eggs), and poured it into a zip lock bag to be frozen...patiently awaiting another batch before I can get on with my plans for it. Hmmm, risotto I think...

The gift that helped me get there:

This is where I have decided to highlight a wedding present that I have used in the making of the post's particular dish. After all, we have been blessed with fantastic family and friends who have generously given us wonderful gifts that we intend to actually use and not keep under a bushel basket somewhere in the far-off land of "wedding gifts we got". So here is where they are going to shine. Literally for this brilliantly shiny stock pot that coddled my stock until it reached its peak. I love it! See how it's brilliance tempted me to take a picture of me taking a picture of it? And can you see another gift in the reflection that I am just beside myself with excitement to use? It's on the left...



17 comments:

briliantdonkey said...

I can see it, but i cant say i am sure what it is,,,,,,if you mean on YOUR left in the picture i have NO clue,,,,,if you mean MY left i am guessing a stand mixer???did i win a prize huh huh huh?again, welcome back!

INK

Mila Tan said...

Kitchen aid mixer?

I loved the "ghostly" form of you and your cam.

Fat & Thin Girl said...

hi just a passerby, i just started a blog...i love that picture of you

angelika said...

First of all, - great job. (Once again) I can only agree. And we seem to be on one wave, risotto is my theme today... Second, I think I should get married once again. Well, the same man, not doubt, but a new choice of presents. Joking... Have a great day (oh yes, and have I heard a rumor that you have made your great ossobuco again ?), angelika

ChichaJo said...

Hello Brilliant Donkey! ;) Yup it's the mixer! :) No prize though...sorry!

Hey Mila! You got it...the Kitchen aid :) Love my reflection too...I look so thin and stretched out! :)

Hi Fat & Thin Girl! Thanks for stopping by :)

Hi Angelika! I know! I hurried over to your blog and sure enough...risotto :) Hehe, the Ossobuco was for a dinner I held in our new place for C's mom and Grandmother...I was so nervous and that is why there are no pictures! But happy to report that it was a success :)

christine said...

Oohhh risotto! I'm so there! :D Did I ever tell you Rina and I made mushroom risotto with truffle oil together? It came out so good!

I love that picture of the pot which reflects a picture of you taking a picture of it. :D

angelika said...

Hi Joey, could it have been anything else than a huge success ?
And don't worry about photos, there are moments in our life when we develop photos right with our heart. I am sure you had a great time. Needless to say that I wish you million more.... Hugs...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Nens! Mushroom risotto with truffle oil sounds excellent...and I have a bottle in the cupboard...yup, my dowry was all kitchen stuff and fine foods...hahaha! Love the pic too! I dry that pot with loving care so there are no water drop marks...

Hi Angelika! I agree! :) And we did have a great time...and I enjoyed putting everything together with C's invaluable help :)

J said...

hi joey, cool post! and great picture of you taking a picture of you too...i can't imagine life without a kitchenaid; you are gonna have a blast ;)

Candice said...

Sigh...my own dream mixer. Anyway, I was particularly enamored by your stockpot. I can't make out the brand name on the handle. Is it an all clad?
Best wishes by the way :-)

ChichaJo said...

Hi J! Thanks! I can't wait to get started with it ;)

Hi Cands! Thanks for stopping by and for the best wishes :) The stock pot's brand is Cuisinart :)

mae said...

Sometimes, i make tinola with the fresh meaty bones (back bones of the chicken is the best for this).

I'm so jealous of your kitchen aid :)

stef said...

i think that mixer is now one of the top wedding gift item. can't count the # of bloggers (food and otherwise) that have mentioned receiving one as a wedding present. looking forward to your KA experiments! tho' i love my DLX i still miss the lines of my old KA -- classic!

Marketmanila said...

Whoever gave you the kitchen aid mixer is the best... As for broth...here's a tip that I wouldn't normally share with anyone but a long time reader... Buy the bones from the Majestic ham stands for say PHP60-70 and boil it in water with say carrots and onions...makes the most flavorful and cost effective stock for soups, lentils, etc.! Enjoy!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mae! I have got to get to that 2nd batch of stock so I can at least make something of consequence...hehe :)

Hi Stef! It definitely is a top wedding present in my book...I am also looking forward to my experiments of the KA kind :)

Hi Marketman! The giver is indeed the best of the best...my best friend and maid of honor actually :) Thanks for the broth tip! Sounds delicious! And cost effective (thank you!)...For fabada and lentejas I usually buy the ham bone of the Jamon Serrano in Alba's...not so cost effective but also delicious :)

Zita said...

Joey,

Oh my god! Super kintab ng stock pot mo. I must admit getting kitchen gadgets as a gift from your wedding is cool. I guess that's why they have bridal registry. Did you have a bridal registry? Your kitchen aide looks nice from the background, I wish I had one of those, alas, I do not have bench space for it. And they are bloody pricey. Enjoy your home and new role.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Zita! That pot is washed (and dried!) by only me and no one else...hehe :) Yup, I did have a bridal registry and had lots of fun doing it too :) It was like crazy shopping with no money! I also like buying from registries because then I know that the couple is getting something they actually chose...then again maybe I'm just lazy :)