“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.” *
to make a stock of chicken bones and simmer til it sings,
of celery sticks and carrot bits and onions sliced in two,
of parsley, thyme and garlic cloves and
a fennel frond or two..
It makes sense to make stock in September.Â Buy chicken breast on the bone, slice it off the bone, save the bone and throw the bone into the freezer (in a plastic covered container.)Â When you have a significant pile of anywhere from 2 to 10, throw them in the pot with cold water, and as soon as the water comes to a boil, keep the bones and throw out the water.Â Give everything a little rinse, add new water and the same bones to the pot, along with a sprig of parsley, a sprig of thyme, a garlic clove, a half an onion, half of a carrot stick, half of a celery stock, a bay leaf and that’s it.Â If you have a fennel frond, throw that in.Â If you have a little piece of tomato, throw that in.Â No stock police are going to come into your kitchen to make sure you have one thing or the other.Â If all you had was the bones, nobody is going to write you up.Â Cook all of this in plenty of water, first bringing it to a boil, then turning it down to a simmer for as long as you possibly can.Â One hour is good, six hours, is fantastic.Â Skim the stock whenever you see the impurities/scum rising to the top.Â If you do the changing of the water trick like I told you, there will be hardly any scum at all.Â Strain everything when it’s done, throwing away everything in the pot but the liquid.Â Allow it to cool and then freeze in plastic, covered containers.Â Be sure not to pour it into anything plastic until it is completely cool.Â As I need it, I just take it out of the freezer, run the container upside down until the whole thing loosens, drop the frozen stock, like a giant popsicle, into a pan over a low flame and wait until I get enough liquid melting around the frozen mass to measure what I need it for.Â Then I lift the frozen stock out of the pan, and set it back into its original container, and pop it back it into the freezer.Â Voila.Â Stock for finishing pasta sauces, stock for chicken pot pie, stock for a little single bowl of soup, even as a bouillabaisse for oysters and their friends.
*The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll