At the ripe old age of fourteen, my youngest finally had her tonsils out last Thursday. She’s doing fine, and having a nice recovery, with the aid of narcotics and chocolate ice cream. I’m doing fine as well, even though I’m not a terribly good nurse, and I am spending far more time in the house than I usually do. In fact, I have been out for exactly 3 hours since we got home on Thursday, and most of those hours I was running. It’s the only thing I can’t ask someone else to go out and do for me.
The homeboundedness means that I’m catching up on a few things. Reading the latest draft of my friend’s manuscript, soon to be a huge YA bestseller. The final 2 Harry Potter movies, also. Watched part 1 today, saving part 2 for tomorrow. I read the book in the two days after it came out, which was … hold on, Googling… 2007?? Good God, wow. Although, now I feel much better that I remember absolutely nothing. And the movie is surprising, too.
I also have a goal of cleaning out the freezer. That’s not going as well, but today I pulled out the gallon bag stuffed with chicken carcasses. I know it doesn’t sound exciting, but I’m sort of a food nerd. I’m not a foodie, because I don’t even know what that means, and I’m sure it also involves wine, which I don’t like, except to cook with, of course. Anyway, I ran out of chicken stock this week, and was forced into using the very cloudy stuff I made out of the turkey carcasses last Thanksgiving… came to a bad boil, and they’re right, if it boils, it gets cloudy and yucky. Or it’s because I didn’t get all the bits of stuffing out of the insides. (See, no way I’m a foodie.) Although they did put all the Julia Child episodes on Amazon Prime, and that’s super fun.
With the stock situation at emergency levels, and my recent discovery of this salon article here, I changed up my methods, and roasted the chicken bones first. I’ve never done it this way, and I’m never doing it any other way from now on. I may not have roasted them a long time–as is the case with most projects, I did not start until evening, even though I could have begun at noon–so perhaps it’s not as brown as it could have been, but nonetheless, I was impressed with the results.
Not at all cloudy this time, as I was quite alert during the first hour to make sure nothing actually boiled. This was made from a total of 3 chicken carcasses, one after roasting originally, and the other two from cutting up whole chickens. (Secret to cutting up whole chickens–a super-sharp knife and instructional Gordon Ramsay video on YouTube.) All chicken bones go into the bag after eating them. I’m sure that’s restaurant standards, but I kind of figure after my son’s eaten off the thigh bone and then it’s been roasted for an hour at 400 and then simmered for 3 hours, I’m fairly sure it’s safe enough. At any rate, this is the best tasting batch I’ve made. 6 quarts of free delicious chicken stock. And room to put them in the freezer. (Those aren’t legitimate canned jars, they’re just storing in there. No pressure canner.)
Tragically, it is never going to get the least bit cold this winter, so whenever the temps dip below forty, we have to make soup quickly and eat it as fast as we can. (Fifties this week. It’s crazy. One would think you couldn’t get enough running time in Columbus, Ohio to train for a half the first of May, but not this year. This year, there are no excuses.)
So here’s the next cooking trick. After reading the aforementioned article, I learned a new word: Remouillage. It means Re-wetting– in French of course. Essentially after you drain the stock off your pot of bones, you cover them up with water and start all over again. It makes a weak stock, but I’m fairly certain it’ll taste a million times better than the stuff in the Campbell’s chicken soup can. I have a picture of the pot, but it looks really gross. She says you can also reduce it into a demiglace which would be nice. I might try that instead.
The only trouble is, remember that whole deal where I started this whole process at 6 pm rather than at noon? Now the remouillage is supposed to simmer for 3 more hours. This would be fine if I lived in Oregon. I do not.
But alas, simmer it must. So besides the stock, Harry, and me finally washing a couple loads of towels, we are also catching up on some old seasons of The Office my daughter somehow missed, thanks to oldest brother’s Hulu+ account. The current episode is “Injury.” One of the entertaining bits about this catch-up is that Michelle continuously calls out to me: “What is wrong with Michael?”
I’m not sure why she misses that being the whole theme of the show. Perhaps it’s the drugs.