As I said in my last post, I am sick. It's just a cold but it's kicking my ass. Usually I just get 2 or 3 day colds but this is one of those 7-10 day colds that just doesn't get any better or worse from one day to the next. So, I have been making myself chicken noodle soup. I do it because it tastes good, it's folk medicine, and it's easy. I just take a baggie of chicken stock out of the freezer, cut it out of the baggie and dump it in a pot, boil and add noodles. But the other day I ran out of stock. So now I had the perfect excuse, still being sick and all, to make more stock. And that's what I did today. Tom let me sleep in and I woke up at the crack of noon to make stock.
I don't cook chickens a lot so I usually use packages of chicken wings for my stock (wings are the best part of the chicken for stock since they have the most bones and collagen) but this time I just used a whole 4 pound chicken. Ever poke a whole chicken after it's been simmering in a pot of water for 5 hours? It's mush. I have actually found separate vertebrae that just sort of floated through the chicken and out into the water. So when the bones got to the point that they crumbled when I tried to snap them, I enlisted Tom's big muscles and we strained the stock (twice) and now the pot is sitting outside, covered, in a snowbank to cool. You can't put a big pot full of hot stock into the fridge or you'll heat everything else in the fridge before you cool the stock, and you can't keep it hot because it's nutrient rich bacteria-bait that way. This is why I always make stock in the winter, for the snow.
So, I will bring the pot back inside once it's cool, and then I will leave it in the fridge overnight and then bag it up for future colds and chicken soup. I may hate being sick, but I do love making stock. I can remember when my mom used to make stock when I was a kid. Boiling chicken necks for a whole Saturday; I thought she was crazy. Now I know that she was, but making stock is still a nice way to spend a winter Saturday.
And congratulations Dawn. My only faithful reader spawning new faithful readers. It's a wonderful thing.