I am definitely going through a soup phase right now. Everything is cooling off, you can smell autumn in the air and to me that means it is soup time. I have made soup stocks before but never really followed proper “technique” and I wanted to give it a shot. Once again I took out my copy of La Varenne Pratique and started reading:
“A stock is the liquid left behind when water, bones, flavoring vegetables and seasonings have been slowly simmered…A hallmark of good stocks and broths is clarity, achieved by simmering rather than boiling the liquid. Never allow a stock or broth to boil for longer than a minute or two, otherwise the stock will cloud, and repeatedly skim off any scum that rises to the surface while it is simmering.“
No boiling, just simmer. And skim off scum. No problem! I can do this!
So my version of chicken stock includes the carcass of a roasted chicken with most of the skin removed, 2 sliced carrots, 2 sliced celery stalks, 1/2 a large sliced onion, parsley stalks, thyme, (I forgot the bay leaf so add a bay leaf), 6 peppercorns, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup of white wine and enough water to cover the veggies and chicken.
The hardest part (other than taking a pictures of myself removing the scum off the broth with my left hand fiddling with my camera) was trying to figure out how to raise the temperature high enough for it to bubble but NOT boil. I wanted to do this right. So I gradually raised the temperature higher and higher until it started simmering. I let it simmer for 25 minutes. Patiently I used the ladle to remove these bubbles to get the clearest stock I personally have ever made:
If I had let the soup cool and then removed the the fat this stock would have been ever clearer and if I had remember the bay leaf it would have been even tastier. If I had used a fresh chicken there would have also been more flavour but considering I made this with just the bones I am pretty darn happy that I saved money by making my stock for next soup instead of buying it.
I love it, I cleared out my fridge of produce and bones and am left with this foodie gold.