Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Taking stock (and giblets, necks, and carcasses)

So that chicken whose giblets I decided I didn't like, what did I do with it?

Here's the run down. Bought the whole chicken on Friday, and baked it that night. (350 degrees Fahrenheit, for 20 minutes a pound, uncovered, on a wire rack in a shallow baking pan. Or until a meat thermometer stuck in the thigh reads 180.)

**Here's an aside about the chicken. I could have bought one of those pre-roasted chickens from the store, and saved myself some time, while still having a bunch of meat and the carcass to use. Why didn't I? Because those are about 2 pound birds, and I paid 56 cents less for a bird that was roughly 4.7 pound. Plus, I got the giblets and neck in addition to the meat and carcass. The pre-roasted chickens aren't a bad deal overall, but if you have the time to spare, cooking a whole chicken yourself is usually more cost-effective.**

As the chicken was in the oven, that is when I started the failed giblet recipe and also set the neck to boiling.

Did you just do a double take? Yeah, well, I took my medium sized sauce pan, filled about half way with water, plunked the neck into it, plus the last quarter of an onion I had laying around. Brought it all to a boil, then reduced to a simmer, and let it alone. I did poke my head over every so often to skim off the scum/fat/foam that forms. I don't remember how long I ended up letting it simmer, but it was probably at least 1.5 to 2 hours. At this point, I discarded the onion and neck, and poured the liquid into a jar.

Yes, a jar. I am running out of inherited and re-purposed plastic storage containers (they are all in my freezer!). I've used the jars to make freezer jam, so they hold up in the freezer, and contain a known quantity (now, if only I could remember what that was). You can see the jar of neck stock here, sort of, along with a beef chuck roast that my aunt gave us, some nuts, and other random stuff on my freezer door.

After the chicken cooled, I carved it up, as best I could. This is not a skill at which I excel. I tried to slice the breasts thin enough for sandwiches, and disjointed the legs and wings. I was quite pleased with the result, because the chicken was tender, sliding right off of the thigh bone. Aside from the bone-in wings and legs, and the sliced breast, everything else was just sort of peeled and pulled off, and stored together.

I put the carcass in my big soup pot, covered it, and stuck it in the fridge. This was all done Friday after I got home from work, mind you. It was getting late, and I wanted to read, spend time with my husband, and oh yeah, sleep! The carcass would keep for a day.

So will the actual stock-taking.


Cam said...

my comment is actually on your quiz: if you had to drive 1400 miles for a business trip would you use your own car or rent.

I needed to google.map it to get a better visual for how far that is: Chicago to Atlanta. I'd fly. And my company would pay for it.

Whenever you do anything for your company, they pay, whether it's a plane ticket, a car rental or gas for your car. 1 mile or 1400, doesn't matter.

Now, if your question was sheer wear and tear on your car, I think that's fairly obvious too!

swiggett said...

It is a total of 1400 miles, round trip, with three recruiting stops. I'm pretty sure that they'd pay for me to fly to Atlanta and back. ;)