Take Stock

Tonight I made chicken and wild rice soup for dinner with the leftover whole roast chicken I baked last night (recipe below) in my cast iron dutch oven (which by the way was amazing, tender and moist.  I will definately make whole roast chicken in the dutch oven again.  It was just an experiment but one that went really well).

Back to the soup - I started with a mirepoix (chopped carrot, celery and onion sauteed until soft in a bit of butter or olive oil), 2 bay leaves, 1t of dried thyme, 1t fresh ground black pepper, 1T Kosher salt, 1 cup of wild rice, 2 quarts of water and two of homemade stock (and the chopped chicken).  It was delicious - I'd say, largely inpart because of the stock.

I used to rely on Swanson's broth (in the can - I still use it from time to time in a pinch) but got brave a couple years ago because of Alton Brown and started making my own stock.  I use the pieces parts of the chicken - neck, guts, wing tips, etc - and simmer them down, strain out the bones and floaters, and freeze for later.  Having good stock always at the ready became somewhat of an obsession, and I now have a freezer full.  I started having the butcher save me his backs and necks and even boil down the carcass of whole baked chickens and turkeys after the meat is picked off.  If you remember, I also made duck stock for use in my New Year's Day stuffing.  And, yes, I did use this most recent roast chicken carcass to make another pot of stock I just finished squirreling away in the freezer. (PS - fried turkey carcasses are not fit for stock - icky - and smoked turkey stock must be marked as such because it can't be used as readily as other plain stock).

Alton Brown uses a bunch of herbs and veggies in his stock - and I did try his recipe - but I am pretty happy with my plain poultry stock.  It also appeals to my thrifty side because it is pretty much free.  Maybe instead of stocks and bonds, I can save money with stocks of bones. 

Roast chicken: Rub - 1T kosher salt, 2T Hungarian paprika, 1t ground black pepper, 1t white pepper, 1t cayane pepper, 1t dried thyme, 1t onion powder, 1t garlic powder ground together in my spice grinder (aka coffee grinder).  Pat all over the chicken and put in the fridge for a day in a gallon zip-lock.  Add 1T olive oil to dutch oven, add the chicken, lid and bake for three hours at 250 or until done (180 degrees or until juices run clear)

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