I have always consumed store bought chicken stock and I never thought I was missing out on anything, until I had the real deal in a cooking class. The teacher referred to chicken stock as “the liquid gold” of the culinary world. At the time, I rolled my eyes like, “please lady, it’s hot water and a boiled chicken with some salt, OK?” But after 4 hours of laboring over this stock, I took a sip and – HOLY SH**! – I realized that I had never fully lived. “Real chicken stock” really does taste like liquid gold. Sadly, when I tried to make stock at home it all went to hell. Apparently, making stock without access to a professional kitchen is a majorly messy pain in the ass. After hours of time, hard work, and lots of dishes, my stock tasted exactly like the store bought version. I resigned myself to the little boxes in the soup aisle.
But then I came upon an episode of “Mind of a Chef” where David Chang demonstrated his method of making chicken stock which involved freeze dried chicken, kombu, and dried mushrooms. I was intrigued, though not convinced it would work. But, you know what? It kinda did work! I edited his recipe a little bit by adding in stuff like whole onion (including the skins), garlic, turnips, kale, carrots, leeks, and parsley. In typical chef form, the original recipe calls for fancy equipment that I don’t think most people have (in this case, a pressure cooker), so I just made this on my stovetop over varying degrees of heat. In about an hour, I had a perfectly good stock that was waaayyyyy better than store bought (but I’ll admit not as incredible as “professional” stock). My friend, Sara, came over and drank a whole bowl of it, declaring it “so delicious.” When I cooked up a batch for our Impatient Foodie shoot, everyone on set was skeptical and made fun of me, but their tune changed when they tried it. I’m gonna say Worth It on this one. This stock can be used to make soups or as a base in a risotto dish or a plethora of other things. You can make it and freeze it into an ice cube tray, so you have smaller portions to deal with, if need be.
VERDICT: WORTH IT.
5 QUARTS WATER
1 LARGE ONION (WITH SKIN), CHOPPED INTO QUARTERS
4-6 CELERY STALKS
BUNCH OF PARSLEY
5 TURNIPS, CHOPPED IN HALF
4 PEELED GARLIC CLOVES, SMASHED
1 TABLESPOON CORIANDER SEEDS
2 OUNCES DRIED KOMBU (USUALLY ABOUT 2 OUNCES IN A PACK)
2 CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS
2 CHICKEN THIGHS
4 CUPS (4 OUNCES) DRIED SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS
4 OUNCES FREEZE-DRIED CHICKEN (I found some on Amazon)
SALT, TO TASTE
- In a large pot, combine the water, onion, carrots, celery, turnips, scallions, garlic and coriander and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Strain the broth to remove vegetables and return it to the pot. Add the kombu. Cook over very low heat (140°) for 10 minutes. Discard the kombu.
- Add the drumsticks, thighs, dried shiitake mushrooms and freeze-dried chicken. Bring to a boil and then reduce eat to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes. Strain and let cool.
- NOTE:The stock can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.