I was just about out of chicken stock. I like having 1 cup containers of stock. A little good stock tends to improve a dinner. I made a variation of my cavetelli with sausage and broccoli last week. Usually it is all tossed in a bowl. This time, I made a quick roux, thickened the chicken stock, tossed everything together with some mozzarella cheese and put it in the oven to melt. It was pretty good.
Instead of just throwing together a stock by feel, I decided to follow Ruhlman's ratio for stock. 2 parts bones, 3 parts water, and then about 20% by weight mirepoix. I had the bones from 4 chickens in the freezer weighing in at just over 6 pounds. A pint is a pound the world around...so I needed 9 pounds of water...9*16=144ouces of H2O. Into the big pot that is really a roaster and not a stock pot.
That's 11:58 in the morning-I'm not crazy enough to start making stock at midnight. Well, I am but I didn't do it. The bones thawed as the water reached a simmer. Then there is the yeeecchhh you have to get rid of.
Once the yeeech had subsided and everything was at a good simmer, the lid went on and the roaster went into a 200 degree oven. This is a great idea. It was around 1:00 when it went into the oven. After 5 hours of completely hands off simmering, I added 2 pounds of rough cut mirepoix and about a tablespoon of tomato paste.
And then back into the oven for 2 more hours. I strained it through a colander and then again through some cheesecloth. I keep an ice packed filled with water (lesson very learned) in the freezer. Once that went in, it kind of created some weird swirls.
Once cold, I put it in the fridge overnight. Skimmed a little fat off the next day and set up small packages of stock. The small ziplocks have 1 cup of stock. The containers hold about a cup and a half.
With this 3:2 ratio, the stock became viscous when cold but did not gel up. I think I was probably closer to using a 1:1 ratio earlier. The stock has a very nice flavor. There is no salt in it, I have to remember to account for that when cooking. I once made a very bland pot of soup. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a salt shaker though. So currently there is the meat from 3 chickens in the freezer along with a little over a gallon of stock. Should last a little while.