Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chicken Stock and Ginger Beer

Sunday night I cooked a roast chicken and since then we have been eating the leftovers. Monday night was toasted sandwiches and last night I cooked a chicken risotto. In true simple living fashion, I picked the bones clean but rather than throw them out, I made chicken stock.

Homemade chicken stock is so much nicer than the bought stuff, and it makes the kitchen smell divine. Put it on as you are cooking dinner.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Throw the bones of 1 chicken into a large pot with vegies – usually I use a leek, onion, a couple of carrots, some celery stalks and 2 cloves of garlic. I also add whatever herbs I have on hand but always add 2 bay leaves. Last night I added sage, lemon thyme, parsley and rosemary.

Add enough water to well and truly cover everything and put the pan on the stove with a lid. It needs to simmer for at least 2.5 hours. The bones should basically crumble away.

I then take it off the stove, strain and reserve the liquid. The bits can then get thrown away.

Refrigerate the stock overnight and in the morning skim off as much as the fat from the top as you want and either use the stock or freeze. I freeze the stock into various portions – 1tbs fits into ice cubes and half cups and full cups go into sweet n sour sauce containers and baby jars.
I am just waiting for the stock cubes to freeze so I can freeze the rest of the stock. Once that is done I can use the pot to finish off my ginger beer. This is the second plant I have made.

It hasn’t foamed as much as the first one I did and there isn’t as many bubbles but I will see what happens after it is bottled. I am also going to adjust the sugar syrup. The last batch was too sweet for me. The recipe I used called for 4 cups of sugar to 22 cups of water but this time I might reduce the sugar to 3 cups and see what happens. I will also start a new plant so I have lots of bottles to give away over Christmas.

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