Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yummy Chicken (or turkey) Stock

You hear about the benefits of chicken stock, both nutritional and culinary, almost everywhere you look. I tried for years to make it part of my arsenal but I had some kind of mental block and never succeeded in making a stock that I thought tasted any good at all. I would try to hide it in things so I couldn't taste it. I was very happy to finally figure out how the heck to make good tasting stock, so I will share it with you!


1 whole chicken OR 2 whole turkey legs (thighs + drumsticks)
2-3 chicken feet, scored, optional
any extra leftover bones you have kicking around, optional
1 carrot, cut into 1-in chunks
2 stalks of celery, cut into 1-in chunks
1 onion, quartered
handful of fresh parsley
10-15 peppercorns

Put the chicken or turkey in a stockpot and cover with water. Bring up to a simmer and then discard the now scummy water. Cover the bird with water again and this time add in all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam/scum that rises to the top. Lower to a bare bubble and cook for 2 hours. You don't want the stock boiling because it will make the meat very tough, so make sure it really is a bare bubble. After 2 hours, fish the chicken or turkey out of the pot and pull all the meat off the bones and save it for later. Return the bones/cartilage/skin/etc to the pot and cook for another 2 hours. Strain, bottle, and refrigerate. If you're lucky it will turn to jello in the fridge!


The key to this, I think, is the initial discarding of the water and cooking the meat with the bones for the first bit so that the stock gets a much meatier, nicer flavor. If you cook the meat too long though it won't taste very good, so that's why you take it out halfway through and then continue cooking the bones to get some more goodness out of them. I've also found this particular blend of veggies to be pretty yummy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

slow roasted pork shoulder

I keep meaning to get back to regular posting, but 4-month old babies keep you surprisingly busy. ;) There's not much time for cooking, much less writing blog posts! Luckily this pork shoulder has minimal hands-on time and will feed a small army. You prep it the night before you want to eat and just stick it in the oven the next morning.


serves: lots

8-10 lb pork shoulder
3 small onions or 1 large onion, sliced
2 oranges, peel left on, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T fennel seeds
salt and pepper

Place the onions and oranges on the bottom of a roasting pan. Score the fat side of the pork in a diamond pattern and place it on top of the onions/oranges. Rub the garlic and fennel into the pork and season with salt and pepper. Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge. The next day, uncover and roast at 275 degrees for 7-8 hours.


The pork will be almost meltingly tender and the fat nice and crispy. You can serve it right away with the juices from the pan. Leftovers firm up in the fridge and are great browned in a skillet with a little lard. Put it in lettuce wraps with pickled hot peppers and olives. Or you can add some cumin when reheating and use the meat for taco salad along with your favorite toppings. Leftovers are also great in hash. It's very versatile!



*recipe from Wegman's*