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How to make the best cooking stock from your leftovers

Nutritious and Flavorful

In this blog post, I will give you another weapon for your arsenal used to combat those pesky leftovers. One thing that people always thrown away is the carcass of a chicken, or turkey. This makes sense to most people. The meat is gone, so there is no nutritional value left, right? Wrong, there is amazing flavor and nutrients such as protein, iron and calcium left in the bones of a fowl’s carcass. Why throw those nutrients in the landfill when you can make a beautiful stock to use for soups, risottos and gravies. The possibilities are endless for a nutritious stock. Note: this step-by-step instruction allows for substitution of any animal sourced bones i.e. pork, beef, fish, fowl

Go Organic

One last thing before we get started. I want to talk about organic and why I always prefer organic food items over non-organic. Using organic ingredients will ensure that you get the most natural flavor from your cooking.

Conventionally-grown crops are sprayed with significant         amounts of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides and chemical fertilizers. I strongly encourage you to do some of your own research on organic foods! There is just to much information for me to cover in a singular blog post and what is important to me might not be important to you. I do not want to push anything on you. Do your research and draw your own conclusions.

Let’s Get Cooking

Building flavor: A great way to produce a richly flavored stock is to roast the bones of your animal before you boil them (see step 1). Note: do not roast fish bones. It will screw up the delicate flavor you’re trying to achieve with a fish stock. Trust me!

Roasting the bones adds depth of flavor, creates a beautiful rich color and will impart great flavor!

I would like to offer one piece of advice before we proceed, you know chef-to-chef.  For your safety, it is important to use a sharp knife when cooking! Could Picasso paint with a run-of-the-mill brush? Well probably, but that isn’t the point.

 

Lets start cutting the animal carcass, bless its heart, into 3-5 pieces depending on the dimensions of the stock pot you plan on using.

Then chop the bones lengthwise to expose the bone marrow. This is where the flavor and nutrition are hiding (do not skip this step!). Note: do not expose the bone marrow until you are done roasting the bones. The marrow is delicate so you want to be careful to preserve as much its nutrition as possible (after roasting skip to step 2).

Step 1) coat the bottom of a roasting pan with extra virgin olive oil. Place the bone pieces in the pan and roast at 375 degrees until the bones turn a light carmel color. Remove bones from roasting pan and place in stock pot.

Step 2) Add veggies (chopped into 1-2 inch pieces) If using organic veggies, leave skins on as they too have nutritional value, but be sure to wash them throughly. If using non-organic, my recommendation would be to remove the skins. This will ensure the heaviest concentration of synthetic chemicals will not end up in your finished product.

Ingredients:

1 carcass cut into 3-5 pieces

4 carrots

2 celery sticks

1 large white onion

6 cloves garlic (smash with the side of your knife)

Step 3) Add herbs/salt & pepper

4 large bay leaves

6 sprigs of thyme

7 whole black pepper corns

Step 4) Pour enough cold filtered water into stock pot to cover veggies. Bring to boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer on medium low heat for 3 hours skimming impurities (foam) off the top every half hour

Step 5) Take off heat, let cool, and strain through a fine mesh strainer

Stock will keep in fridge for 4 days and in the freezer up to 3 months

Step 6) Finish with salt and pepper. As much or as little as you need to meet the seasoning you prefer

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