Well, you would be wrong.
There is a distinct art to crafting an authentic chicken stock, according to my lovely chefy.
There is procedure. There are logistics. There are time limits. And other myriad constraints.
But mostly, there is preparation. More than I realized. As in, an authentic chicken stock is supposed to be dark? So the way I've been making it for five years is completely wrong? Everything I've ever made has been sub-par. There will be roasting...
Listen and learn, friends. Listen and learn.
Chefy dictates to me, mid-stock-boil, "Where are the roasted bones? They don't look roasted at all."
AT ALL. That redundant duo which always make me want to commit nefarious acts.
As I paw him away in my penguin stance over the aromatic simmering bone water
Stock's some fancy ish. And you thought it was basic. (It's ok, I'm with ya.)
I feel like a bit of a witch when I make chicken stock. Sometimes I think to myself, sampling my magic brew, I could totally bottle this stuff up and sell it. This would fly off the shelves at Eastern Market. All kinds of creative names (or not) (read: Shannon's Stock, Cecere's Chicken Brew) fly through my head. I could even market it for Etsy, I fantasize, and invest in the local dry-ice business (???) and ship it off to exotic places where they've never even heard of homemade chicken stock. Like the UK. Or Altoona, PA. Market me fast, baby. I'm the next Rachael Ray.
My ADHD culinary Good Samaritan reverie is interrupted by the next-door neighbors' random outburst of go-go music, which I can appreciate, but not necessarily at 2 am, and definitely not while creating nectar of the gods, aka roasted chicken stock.
Chefy ambles outside to harangue the neighbors, and this is my perfect opportunity to suddenly spring to the freezer, remembering the two quart containers of chicken wing tips I saved the last few times we made chicken wings. (Preparation.) Chicken stock for all! We'll bottle it in Mason jars and gift it to both sets of parents for Easter, arriving into town bearing homemade presents! We'll ship it to friends for birthdays and bat mitzvahs. It'll be a mainstay in the pantries of everyone we know. Right next to the gourmet mustards and artisinal preserves. We can give it as wedding favors!
I salt the water because one time I heard the Barefoot Contessa say on her show that if you don't salt the water, the stock that you worked so hard on will taste like dirty dish water.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
So I salt the water. And toss in some peppercorns, like I've seen chefy do. Except a cup of peppercorns come flying out of the spice container since I always forget little tricks like opening the tiny opening side versus the huge side. I handle that emergency, grabbing up peppercorns with both hands from the boiling stock. The chicken tips (and my hands) have thawed and are neatly placed across a cookie sheet, the oven is preheating to 500, carrots are roughly chopped, onions are halved and thrown in, a stalk of celery goes in, doesn't have to look pretty, it'll all get strained out anyway. I roast the tips, throw them in. Chefy tells me you never salt the water. Excellent. I taste test. It tastes like bouillon. All salty and vegetabley and chickeny and peppery. And very concentrated, having reduced for way too long while I got side-tracked and read recipes for all the dishes I was going to make with the stock. So I add more water. It's a better consistency. Thank you, Karma and Kismet. You showed up. A little late the party, but you showed nonetheless.
It's nearing 4 am and my back is aching. A cloth freezer pack covered in monkeys is icing my neck. My throat is sore. My right eye starts itching all of a sudden. Woe isn't me, though. Cause the stock looks beautiful. Chefy's long been asleep, snoring from the bedroom. It's time. It is finished. I turn off the stove and have to let the stock cool before straining and pouring into quart containers and then tomorrow, Mason jars, tied with burlap and twine for that homespun look. I go into the bedroom to rest my eyes while the stock cools.
And then fall asleep for 8 hours.
#fml #chickenstockfailure #itwouldvebeensodelicious #storingitanyway