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Taking Stock

January 2, 2019

The funniest part about January being meat-free at home, is that on the second day of the year I’ve got a lunch date, and I’m going to get the sausage.

At least that’s the plan. I hope that still works with the rules. Since the sausage is used as a flavoring to what is effectively an entire plate of vegetables, I suspect it’s copacetic. After all, the goal of this for me is to eat more vegetables.

The other funny thing is that the first cooking project of the new year was a mega-batch of chicken stock.

Our final act of 2018 was to finish the last remaining stock cubes from the freezer. Now that our old inventory has been cleared out, it’s time to refill our reserves. Especially since when February rolls around, it will be super comforting to have a large supply of chicken stock.

All stock these days gets made in mega batches here at Casa del Fussy. That’s thanks to two things. One, the giant pressure cooker which easily accommodates six chicken carcasses at a time. The other was Greg K’s advice from last year to make a secondary stock and combine the output of both batches.

The next phase will be to skim the cooled stocks, and then reduce, reduce, and reduce even more. In the end, I should have just shy of two quarts of an intensely aromatic, umami rich, and gelatinous liquid.

It will form the base of soups, become a braising liquid for vegetables, and be used to deglaze pans. And when anyone needs a little comfort, or has their braces tightened, we’ll cook up some pastina in a diluted cup of the stuff.

The hardest part of this cooking project, was abstaining from eating the stock vegetables on toast. After all, they were cooked in chicken fat and stock. Which makes them decidedly not vegetarian. And we are at home. You know, where we’re avoiding eating meat this month.

Yeah. It doesn’t make that much sense. But I’m going with it anyway. And even though those carrots and onions got tossed in the trash, at least we got two—count ‘em, two—batches of stock out those roots.

It felt pretty good to start making a dent on all those collected chicken bones in the freezer. But this is just the start. From now until spring, I think it will be a sprint to keep the stock pot simmering, and cook through the backlog.

For the remainder of January, I’ll just keep on daydreaming about ways to use it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Eric Taub permalink
    January 2, 2019 11:15 am

    Can you point me to a pressure-cooker stock recipe?

    • ellen permalink
      January 2, 2019 4:52 pm

      Serious Eats or Cooks Illustrated (if you are a member).

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