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Stock Virgin - Please help

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by egyptgirl, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    That's it!
    Once you've made your first I'm sure you'll never look back...remember that you can freeze any stock that you don't use this week for future use!
    Happy stock-making!
  2. Sounds good charlene - the only changes I would make are a) not put in potato peelings - not sure why but my mother never did...... and b) to include a stick of celery.
    What I do once I think the stock is well flavoured is to boil it fast to reduce the volume. This has the effect of concentrating the flavour and takes up less room in the freezer!
  3. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    Just use the bones. The veg will reduce the length of time you can keep it. Don't be disappointed at the taste when your stock is done, it will be bland and you'll wonder whatever the point in it all was, but when you reduce it and use it with other ingredients in the dish, it will come to life. If you add any skin, although it will add flavour, it will also add a lot of fat to the stock. There will be a fair bit of meat and cartiledge left on the carcass that is inaccessible before you make the stock, but easily accessable later. If you have a dog and give this to him, he will think all his birthdays came on the same day, but do check it all through for tiny bones if you do so. Roasting the bones before boiling them will add a little flavour and darken the stock as well.
  4. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Ah...I ALWAYS put potato feelings in mine - my grandma always did - has never occurred to me not to!
  5. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    peelings! Potato peelings...not feelings.
    I need to learn to proof read my posts!
  6. Stock is bubbling away happily. How long do I leave it?
  7. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    At least 2 hours but ideally 3! (and leave it simmering rather than boiling)
  8. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    I never put any veg in with my stock - just carcass and water!
  9. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    We also dined on Chicken this evening, and as I prepared it, I realised I'd omitted to tell charlene the preparation for stock begins before the bird goes into the oven if you want to have a decent gravy to accompany the roast.
    I take a look at the chicken and think what are we unlikely to eat here that I can remove without spoiling the concept of it being a roast chicken?
    I cut off the wing extremities, the parson's nose, the ends of the legs and as much of the neck that remains. As a by-the-by, I don't understand why it is that when I was a child, giblets came along with the chicken and now they don't, but buy a turkey and they do? What's going on? Anyway, make stock of these parts as the chicken cooks so you can create a far tastier gravy.
    These days, chicken tastes so bland it needs every assistance it can possibly get.
  10. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Not if you buy a decent chicken it doesn't. You will have to pay a lot more, but it's worth it. My butchers sell excellent free range and organic chickens that taste like chicken should/used to. So do many of the more pricey supermarkets. Always plenty of options at farm stores and farmers' markets. It might cost more than a tenner for a decent chicken, but it's worth it and when you consider that chicken always used to be expensive option, before the advent of mass farming, it's all relative anyway. When you consider that even a 5lb chicken at 12 or 13 quid will make at least 6 or 8 meals, it all becomes good value anyway.
  11. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Great post, Nick. 100% agree.
  12. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    It won't make 6 or 8 meals for a FAMILY though !
    £12/13 means around 15 €, I wouldn't dream of paying that for a chicken, but then again I would never have to.
    Chicken is a pretty bland meat anyway, I understand what modemmaker means.
  13. I agree with nick. I always buy organic free range chickens - yes they cost more but have a much better flavour. We eat it less often...just like the old days! I can certainly get 5-6 meals from a bird, although I grant you there are just two of us. For a family of 4 I would reckon on 4 meals if you include stock for soup.
  14. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Thanks egyptgirl [​IMG]
    This is precisely my point, cosmos. Chicken should be a treat, and a more expensive one will definitely be one. It's the demand for absurdly cheap chicken at two for a fiver or whatever that has pushed the quality of these birds downhill. A generation or two back, people couldn't afford chicken every day and so they didn't have it especially. A bird was an occasional treat; bought for the Sunday roast and would do for most of the week. I think a decent sized bird can actually go very far, especially if you're prepared to be frugal with the portion sizes With reference to the original point of this thread, I actually wouldn't bother making a stock out of a cheap bird, as there would be very little point.
    It does pay to shop around for the quality. An average 6 or 7 quid supermarket free range bird will be decent, but still might not be fantastic. If you look for the really special ones (both Waitrose and Sainsbury's do a great top-end bird) or look in decent butchers and farm shops then you'll get really great ones.
    I'll pay over a tenner for a great chicken quite happily, but on the basis that we have roast chicken maybe once every couple of months, I'm happy to do this.

  15. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Caffeine frazzled brain leading to non-finishing of sentences...!
  16. I can remember as a child, a very long time ago, that chicken was a major treat! It was like having Christmas lunch all over again. Portion sizes were small, my father was a master carver, and there were all the bits to go with it to pad it out. It would reappear the next day cold with baked potatoes and salad and it was always my job to pick the flesh from the carcass which would then make a pie; finally stock to make soup.
    Just thinking about it makes me want roast chicken right now!
  17. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I buy my chickens from the butcher and out of that I can get a roast, sandwiches, a quick lunch, a couple of main meals and loads of good quality stock. Admittedly, there are only 2 of us but we both have very good appetites.
    I don't eat vast quantities of meat - when I lived in Egypt with my Mum we only ate meat or fish about once every six months, if that.
  18. No it doesn't!
    charlene - that is basically all you need to do. You can roast the bones and the veg beforehand, but I generally don't bother.
    You will need to skim off the scum a few times as it boils up - but that is basically it.
    I add the wings to mine.
  19. We are both quite lucky in that we can readily access boiling fowl. I am not sure that is wildely available in the UK!
    I have never paid €15 for a chicken - not even for an organic one!
  20. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    Totally agree, a chicken here rarely weighs more than 1.2 kg (and I try to find the biggest I can as there are five of us, including two teenage boys )
    We can buy fresh chicken livers, gizzards and sometimes hearts separately too. Turkeys and capons for Christmas are never sold with giblets ( I presume those bits go into pet food ! )
    Henriette mentioned paying £3.50 for 500g mince, that is very expensive, would make it about 8.50€ kg: that's the price of rump steak in my local hypermarket !

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