The other day, I came home from work early, meaning 5:30 pm instead of 8:30 pm. While driving from Sofia to Kyustendil (80 km or 50 miles), I thought what could I do with the extra few hours of free time? Then it came to me make a big batch of chicken stock. Anyone that knows what it takes to make good stock, a proper cooking time is 12 hours, for me at least. (**Note: 2012 – I now know that 3 – 4 hours is the perfect cooking time for chicken stock.)
I swung by the Kaufland (big grocery store, new to Kyustendil) and picked up 3 lb. or (1.4 kg) of chicken wings and some parsley. I had the rest of the veggies at home. The basis of my chicken stock recipe come from Thanksgiving 101 by Rick Rodgers. Of all the variations I tried, his just works for me. I do however mix it up. Since I have a garden full of fresh thyme, I throw in a few sprigs rather than dried. I also freeze the carcasses and save the bones of previous roast chicken dinners, so along with the 3 lb of chicken wings I throw in a carcass or two. Plus, I leave it on the stove simmering till I am ready to stain it. So, the 12 hours is more like 18.
If I am not going to make chicken soup, I use the meat that I pull from the bone as a treat for Feta (my almost 8 years old Jack Russell Terrier) and Chopper (Angel’s brother’s beast of a canine, Bulgarian Shepard). Some of you might think this is a waste of good meat, but Feta knows when I am making stock. She hovers around the kitchen pacing in front of her bowl. I actually have tripped or stepped on her a few times. I mean who wouldn’t hover. The smell is amazing. I would like to see Glade or Yankee capture that in a candle.
I ended up with like 2.5 qt or 2.4 lt of stock which, will become Chicken with Pumpkin Seed Mole, Spring Vegetable Ragu, Asparagus soup and the rest will be frozen into 1 oz. cubes.
Anyway, although I am not working less, I am learning how to incorporate my love of cooking and gardening into my work schedule. I might not have the 11 hours available for whipping up some ciabatta, but I am finding a way to make it work. So, please expect more post coming from new method of cooking on the fly or really OCD advance food prep.