Quick Chix Juice
I am all for saving time when cooking as long as I remember the fruits of my labor. The perfect example of saving time was my frozen Basil Pesto cubes. Now all I have to do is pop them into a sauce and watch all the green goodness melt down. Often times I do these time saving things and completely space out and forget that I have them. Example number two is...homemade chicken stock...well sort of.
In culinary school you go through this whole process of making beef stock by roasting the bones and then cutting up all the mise en place ( MEEZ ahn plahs-a French term referring to having all the ingredients for what you are cooking, all prepared and ready to go at any point in the cooking process) for the beef stock. Chicken stock is done with raw bones although you can roast them too but they are much better when you can have the albumin (al-BYOO-mehn-the protien portion that comes from an egg but is also found in milk, plants, animal blood and seeds) come from the bones on their own in cold water which later turns into the most flavorful base for everything liquid.
I am all for roasting and simmering for hours, and skimming the scum ( Depouillage), but honestly who on earth has the time to do all of this for the tasty end result? I know that even though I cook for a living, I don't have time to do all of that fancy stuff. So I do the next best thing, I cheat.
A while ago I posted the making of Chicken Pot Pie. What I didn't post was the short cuts that I took and the rewards I reaped. After I cooked my vegetables in cold water to get ready for the Chicken Pot Pie, I didn't want to waste one ounce of that liquid. That liquid was chalk full of flavors from mushrooms, carrots, onions, celery, and peas. It would be a crime to pour all that down the drain. Since I like making my own chicken stock, I seized the moment and did my cheat thing!
I rough chopped up more onions, celery and carrots and dumped them into the hot liquid. Then I grabbed a hand full of Telicherry peppercorns, three or four stalks of fresh parsley and sprinkled some dried thyme in pot, slapped on the lid and let it boil and then simmer during dinner and prime TV watching time. Who could ask for anything easier?? The end result is then strained and cooled in an ice bath and frozen. I usually measure out the stock into 1 cup bags, label them and put them into the freezer. There they will sit until I dig around and remember making them. It happens...frequently. LOL!