Saturday, October 18, 2008

When Good Stock Goes Bad

After viewing the Mike Pardus demo on breaking down a chicken, I stopped buying chicken parts and started buying whole chickens. Costs less, better quality and you get more for the buck. I have broken down two chickens so far. From them I made two dinners using boneless breast, one dinner of grilled thighs and drumsticks, some frozen wings, a frozen liver(one chicken didn't come with a liver), frozen fat, and a lot of frozen bones.

Well, this morning I took the bones out of the freezer and roasted them. Then they went into a pot and got covered with Brita filtered water. Brought it to a boil and started skimming. Moved the pot into a low oven. It was apparently too low so it got bumped up later -Note to self: get an oven thermometer. Then I added diced carrots, celery and onion and continued cooking for another hour. Strained it through a colander. Strained it through a fine mesh sieve - I thought I had cheese cloth but apparently not. Then began chilling it. I had a clean bottle that I filled with water and froze. I put it to cool the stock. It brought it down to about 80 degrees. So I filled a ziplock with all the ice I had and in it went. It was still a little warm.

I was about to take the kids out, so I grabbed an ice pack out of the freezer, cleaned it, dropped it in and moved everything to the fridge. That was dumb. Super dumb. I had a leak. So some amount of non-toxic freeze bag gel made its way into my beautiful stock.

I dumped it down the drain. It was very depressing. (insert deep shoulder slumping sigh here)

From the few tastes I had, it was pretty good stock. I probably should have used a little less water. Maybe kept the mirepoix in a little longer. Damn I wanted that stock.

Grocery shopping is tomorrow. Guess I'll get a chicken and start over.

It's all in the details. Hope I don't screw up the schmaltz. I'm counting on that for Thanksgiving.

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