Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Dinner That Keeps on Giving

The early stages of homemade stock.
After I made my super yummy roasted chicken, I couldn't let myself throw out the carcass and leftover bones of the bird.  So I did the thrifty thing and made stock.  I didn't follow a recipe, but I did throw the carcass, the chicken neck, some bones, onion skins, carrots, celery, parsley, and peppercorns into a big pot.  I added enough water to cover everything, turned the burner on medium, and left the concoction to bubble all day long.  After several hours, I strained all the veggies and bones (and threw them away) then let the strained liquid sit on low heat to continue to reduce.  The end result?  A dark, flavorful stock.

I'm planning on using the stock when I make my Thanksgiving dinner (I'll probably add it to the stuffing), so I have it in the freezer, waiting to be used.  Before I froze it, though, I ran it through the most awesome gizmo: Oxo's Fat Separator.  If you don't have one of these (and you're planning to make gravy or stocks), you should get one!

This handy gadget will set you back about $15, and it will help keep the oil slick out of your gravy/stock.  It's surprisingly easy to use.  You just pour your gravy/stock through the separator then pull out the stopper.  This creates suction so that the non-fatty liquid pours easily from the spout.  The fat will rise to the top so you can see when to stop pouring.

One bit of advice: pour slowly and pay attention to the color of liquid in the spout.  As soon as you get into the fat, stop pouring!

I'm glad I picked up this kitchen tool.  It's very helpful and will come in handy when I make Thanksgiving gravy.

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