How, What and Why?

I love to cook...ever since I discovered I could make a (semi-decent) living cooking, I have had a constant and wonderful love affair with food. Food has kept me company through jobs, relationships and friends; in good times and bad I have cooked and fed the people around me.
After a while, those people started asking me questions like "how do you cook an artichoke?" "what's the best way to cook a turkey?" "where can I find (insert new culinary ingredient)? and even "how do we fillet this trout we just caught?" over the phone, no less.
Lucky for me, my friends love to cook and eat as well and the more they cook, the more they wanted to know about different dishes, ingredients, recipes and techniques. foodFAQs came about as my answer to all those questions and more.
Through this blog, I hope to share my experiences in the kitchen while learning new things along the way, always cooking and eating. So please explore, learn, cook, eat and enjoy!

Soa

Stocks: The Foundation to Easy Meals

One of my favorite things to make are stocks; and from stocks comes soups and sauces. It is one of the easiest things to make and having well made stock on hand will give any cook endless options for that universal question every night... "what's for dinner?" (and with the weather turning colder, that answer for me is soup!)

I know everyone in the world can buy chicken stock from just about any grocery or convenience store and it is just that, convenient but wholly lacking any depth of flavor. If you really want to have a secret weapon in your arsenal of culinary tricks, consider having homemade stock on hand in the freezer at all times.

The definition of stock is flavored water and it is exactly that, simple and easy. I typically save the bones from any meats I have in the freezer until there are enough to put them in a pot with water to simmer. But you can always buy bones from any butcher very inexpensively to make a pot of stock.

I freeze the stock in several ways; in plastic pint and quart sized deli containers, zip lock bags and in ice cube form (pour into ice cube trays, freeze stock, pop out of the ice cube trays and store in zip lock bags or airtight containers). That way I can pick just the right amount of stock to defrost for each recipe instead of having a large container or can of stock or bouillon open. (incidentally, if you choose to use store bought, you can still freeze the stock in ice cube trays and use as needed)


Chicken Stock

5 pounds chicken bones
4 quarts water, approximately

Rise the bones under cold running water until the water runs clear. Place the chicken bones in a large stock pot and add just enough water to cover the bones by 2 to 3 inches. Bring the water to a boil, over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer the stock.  Using a ladle, skim any foam, fat and impurities from the top and continue simmering until the stock is flavorful, about 2 1/2 hours.

Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve and cool down in an ice bath. Use as needed or freeze in different sizes for future use.





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