Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chicken Stock

So my weekends are usually crazy, but when I get the chance I make a long simmering, rich and flavorful chicken stock! I cut up an onion, garlic head, and a shallot. Then I cut up a cup of carrots, celery and leeks, throw them in my beautiful huge stock pot. To that I add my chicken bones. Now here is the the thing, I hate waste, so during the week, I may roast some chickens or use store bought rotisserie chicken. When I do that I always save the bones, throw them in a storage bag and throw it in the freezer for stock day! Even the day I made Hoisin Wings, I threw the end pieces of the wings into a bag and added them to my pot. It is a great way to use a chicken completely. I will have roasted chicken one night, use the leftovers for chicken salad the next and then use the bones for stock that weekend.

SO once you have your veggies and chicken bones in the pot, add a couple of bay leaves, parsely stems, fresh thyme a tbsp of peppercorns and top with cold water. Bring it to just a boil, not a hard boil just a good, steady simmer and be ready to occasionally skim any gray foamy stuff off the top. Other then that thow, I just let it go! I turn it to low and let it simmer for a few hours, no stirring just skimming every once in a while.
At the end of a few hours, I taste it to make sure it has that herbal, chickeny rich flavor and I usually salt it at this point, just to taste- a bit on the weak side to leave you some room for further seasoning at the point of the end use. I ladle it into another stockpot thru my chinois to fully strain off the broth and then put it into the fridge overnight. The next day I skim the fat off, so now it is is virtually fat free! I put it into either storage bags or storage containers and put into the freezer for when I need it! It is too simple - just try it!

Hoisin Wings!!

So last Sunday was Hoisin Wing night, a favorite here. Thought I would post the process and the results.

The key to an excellent wing is, in my opinion, proper marniation time. I like to prepare my sauce early in the day so the wings can swim in the sauce for 8 hours, turning them about every couple of hours.

First you need to prepare the garlic, cause what is a great anything without garlic? I like to do a rough chop then toss a bit of kosher salt on top and mush with the side of a knive to form a paste. Once that is done I add to a large bowl and add in some chopped ginger. Sometimes I use fresh, but the jarred version works fine in this case.

Next on the agenda is the lime juice, fresh squeezed from one or two. Now it is time to add the hoisin sauce, I use one jar of my favorite brand. I believe it is about 8 ozs. which would equate to about a cup. On top of that you need chinese hot sauce, oh about a tsp to a tbsp, depending on your tolerance of heat in food. Next is Ketchup, about 3/4 cup, and on top of that, about 1/4 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar, salt and pepper and thats it! Sweet, Spicy, Tangy, Savory, TERRIFIC!

Now it is important to bathe those wings for those 8 hours. I use the party wings, which are essentially a wing that has been cut at the joint and the end of the wing removed. You can easily prepare them yourself, or buy them already done for you. Either way the smaller piece makes for a terrific bite size piece!
Once the wings fully bathed and ready to get the heat treatment, let them out of the referigerator for a bit, maybe half hour, to come to room temp. Then on the grill they go! AND CHECK IT OUT!