Twenty-six degrees….it was 26!!! degrees when I checked the thermometer this morning. Brrr…wooden, raised, south Louisiana houses aren’t built for 26 degree weather. So I’m warming up the house with a batch of chicken stock, set to simmer for hours.
- 3-5 pounds bony chicken parts (backs, necks, wing tips)
- 4 quarts of water, an onion or two (don’t peel–the onion skins lend a golden tint to the stock)
- 4-5 ribs of celery
- 2-3 carrots, cut into large pieces
- 12 whole peppercorns
- 4-5 fresh bay leaves
- Optional: 4-6 cloves garlic, 1 T tomato paste or 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato, and 1 tsp thyme
Bring the chicken parts, water, and a few teaspoons of salt to a gentle boil, cook for 2-3 hours, then add the seasonings. Simmer for 2-3 additional hours, then strain. Put the stock into pint containers and refrigerate or freeze promptly. Refrigerated stock will keep for a week; bring it to a boil before using. Frozen stock keeps for months.
With a supply of homemade stock in the freezer, soup is a snap. Vegetable-chicken noodle soup is in my immediate future….as is chicken-shiro miso soup.
Now I’m counting the days until the weather warms; it should be 75 by Thursday afternoon. Hurrah.