Some people believe that if you concentrate hard enough, you can make things levitate. That is, you can raise them up in defiance of the laws of gravity. These people are deluding themselves. Like so many self delusionals, they passionately believe the nonsense they spout and will not hear reason. I have a slightly different take, believing that when you really concentrate, you can create great flavour. Nowhere is this more true, than when one is making chicken stock.
To make really excellent chicken stock, you need to start with excellent ingredients. You also don’t need to overdo the flavours. For my ultra concentrated stock or “Chicken Bombs” as I like to cal them, I used a short list of ingredients. Having a friend who is a butcher really helps as he is happy for me to take the carcasses away.
- 10 free range chicken carcasses
- 4 onions
- 2 large leeks
- 6 celery ribs
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons of black peppercorns
- 9 to 10 litres of water (depending on pot size)
This takes a couple of days to prepare. Though, it doesn’t take a lot of attention. Let it largely look after itself for a weekend.You will have a few rounds of activity as follows:
I have an old aluminium ham pot that is ideal for making this chicken stock. Chop the vegetables crudely. By that, I mean leave them in big chunks, not what you were thinking.
Slice the carcasses with a kitchen scissors so they are flattened and will fit in the pot along with the other ingredients. Add the liquid.
Please note that I only managed to fit eight carcasses into the big pot and had to make a second first round stock in a smaller one.
Bring the pot to a gentle boil and leave it to do it’s thing, covered for anywhere between four and six hours. Let it cool.
Remove the thick layer of chicken fat from the surface of the pot. Keep this for other uses.
Remove the solids from the pot and sieve into another pot. Discard the solids.
Strain the stock through a fine grade muslin.
Place the pot of strained stock on the heat and gently simmer it until it has reduced by about five sixths.
I ended up with one and a half litres of stock from my original 9 litres of water. The reduced stock will have a deep gold colour and is rammed full of delightful chicken flavour.
Let this cool enough to handle. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
I ended up with exactly 50 large “Chicken Bombs”. They stay good in the freezer for months.
Uses for Chicken Bombs
They can be reconstituted to a thinner stock to use in risotto, soups or any recipe calling for volume stock. Work the maths out for yourself when you are adding the water.
They also can be combined with white wine to make a stunning pan gravy when frying chicken. I can’t recommend this highly enough.
Please note that there is no added salt in the bombs. This leaves you free to add as little or as much as your recipe needs. These will not help you levitate the furniture by strength of will but they will help elevate your cooking to new heights.