One of the things that I really love about cooking is that you can get really creative with your food. I last wrote about cooking chicken with indirect heat and smoke. This technique and the simple recipe yielded one great chicken dinner last weekend, but there is more to the story.
I made a smokey chicken stock that became the base for two soups this past week. Homemade stock really is amazing stuff. First and foremost it doesn’t have any unpronounceable ingredients that preserve the stock. Second, there’s nothing like cooking a pot of stock for a few hours to fill the house with honest good smells.
Chicken stock is pretty easy to make. It starts with a chicken carcass, celery, onions, carrots and water. Add a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano and you’re pretty much done. It takes about an hour to make good stock. You don’t need to boil chicken for ages to get good flavor. In fact, anything beyond two hours and you’re probably wasting your time.
Smokey Chicken Stock
1 smoked chicken carcass (picked)
3 stalks of celery (hearts with leaves preferably)
1 large yellow onion
2 large carrots (peeled)
3 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. dried oregano
6 quarts water
Combine ingredients in an 8 quart stock pot and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium/low and cover. Ensure that heat is high enough to simmer, but low enough to keep from boiling over. Simmer covered for between 1 and 2 hours. Drain though a wire mesh strainer.
Use as a base for soups or anywhere you’d use stock in a recipe.