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So many people asked me about stock that I decided to "try" and give instruction. ( I hope this works!!! ;-) ) This is an easy recipe as long as you prepare for it about 1 1/2 weeks ahead. Yes.. I know that sounds strange but read on. For the week prior to making stock, every time you use a vegetable, raw or cooked, put the leftovers in a plastic bag and put in freezer. This includes things such as carrot tops and peelings, potato peelings, onion skins and ends, that broccoli that will not get eaten, the leftover carrots that you had for dinner last night, leaves of lettuce that are brown that you know you wont eat, those extra mushrooms that nobody will eat - any and all vegetable trimmings. Put them in a gallon sized plastic bag and save. I have saved whole tomatoes that were not good enough for a salad - you name it.. if its a vegetable, it gets saved. Next thing I do is each time I make chicken and trim it up (getting rid of skin, fat or bones) I put that in a separate bag and stick in the freezer. On the day you make stock, take all your vegetables out of the freezer, throw in the huge pot, cover with water, add seasonings (if you like). I use oregano, thyme, basil, bay leaves and anything else that suits me to throw in. Throw in some garlic and 1 or 2 large chunked onions. Mix well, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer. Continue as below. (OR if you want just vegetable stock, just continue to cook as is for about 2-3 hours, strain, and freeze or add some beans, a few fresh vegetables and you have a yummy veggie soup) Now, while that is getting to a boil, take your chicken, removing innards (if any) and put chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until done. Juices should run clear, or just chop it open and look to see (Its about 45 minutes at full boil depending on size). When chicken is done, remove chicken, reserving water it was cooked in. Allow chicken to cool (break it apart a bit and throw in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes!). Once its cooled enough to pull the meat off (should still be warm, but not hot) pull off all meat possible, setting to the side. Throw skin and any part you dont want to eat into the vegetable pot. Once the bones are cleaned of meat, put the bones into the vegetable pot and those innards you saved and also the chicken pieces you had saved and frozen, and simmer away for about 2 hours. Meanwhile, take that water the chicken was cooked in and put it in the refrigerator (or freezer) and leave there until fat has risen to the top. Skim off fat. Return to pot, add fresh vegetables - carrots, celery, potatoes, a tomato, garlic, basil or anything else you might like. When vegetables are almost done, add the chicken you had reserved and heat thru. And Eat!! (I boil up some flat noodles or I serve the chicken soup over mashed potatoes) Now, when stock is done, (I usually ignore it for about 2 - 3 hours only stirring and adding water if necessary) Remove from heat, and run thru a strainer. To remove EVERYTHING, spices, pieces of tiny chicken, the little pieces of broccoli, put a thin cotton towel or cheesecloth into your strainer and run the stock thru again. It should be free of any pieces. Put into containers and refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim off fat and then there are 1 of 2 things you can do: Freeze in small portions (2 cup containers). Return to pot and reduce in half - this will be a rich bouillon. Freeze in ice cube trays. This can also be done with ham, beef, venison... any type of meat you can eat can be made into stock. I hope I made this sound easy, because it really is. If you have any questions, please contact me at Rowaan@earthlink.net Recipe by: Michelle Piniella (Rowaan@earthlink.net) Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #875 by Rowaan
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