Thursday, October 7, 2010

Back from Hiatus!

Well... as the title suggests, I am back from a very long hiatus. I know my blog has suffered greatly since I took a long needed personal break, but well, I needed it.

My relationship with Charlie has progressed a lot since the last time I posted an update or recipe and since then we've been working on building a life and home together. The last time I updated things were going well and since then they have greatly increased. We now live together in an adorable 2 bedroom apartment with a nice kitchen and I've finally got the room and space to be the cook I want to be. Charlie's tummy has been reaping the benefits of my adventures in the culinary world and we've even ventured out of our comfort zone a few times.

Currently I am using my brand new GE 6 quart slow cooker for the first time, trying my hand at making homemade chicken stock as the weather on San Diego has finally come around to admitting that its actually fall.

I decided since I spend so much money on canned chicken stock and broth that I should try my hand a making a more flavorful, delicious option.

I searched the internet for a decently fool proof recipe and found one from Alton Brown with quite nearly 5 stars and after reading the comments and taking their advice into account as well I began to prepare myself for my adventure.

Me being the planner I am, I went to the store almost a week before I actually made the stock and got all the ingredients so I would be ready when the perfect day struck. I started saving the roasted bones from the rotisserie and baked chicken I had made and froze them to make sure I had enough for my stock. After a record breaking blazing hot week, it's finally cooled down to a nice drizzle and luckily I had the day off and the 8+ hours required to prepare and simmer my stock.

I'll link to the recipe I used but basically I threw all this into my slow cooker, cooked on high for 2 hours, then simmered for 6-7, skimming the goop off the top every hour or so. Into my cooker went:

* 2 chickens worth of bones, seasoned skin and whatever meat was leftover
* 1 onion, quartered
* 3 carrots, peeled and broken in half"
* 4 ribs of celery, trimmed leaves intact, cut in half
* 1 leek, green removed, cut in half lengthwise
* half a head of garlic, peeled and smashed
* 8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme
* heaping handful of fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
* salt and pepper to taste, as needed
* enough water to cover

Because I had so much stock, I decided to freeze it in mini cupcake pans, which yield around 1/8-1/4 a cup per stock cube and will last me through the fall and into winter when I'll be going through stock like it's going out of style. As I use it I'll share the recipes.

Good luck!
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