Taking (chicken) Stock

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If you are not out sledding, snowshoeing, building a snowman or having a snowball fight then its a perfect day to have a pot of stock simmering slowly on the stove.

I always have errant chicken parts in the freezer just for days like this. Add some veggies, herbs, spices and water and homemade stock is ready before you know it.

Today in addition to carrot, celery, onion, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf, I added some shiitake mushroom stems, Szechuan peppercorns, leek tops, parsley and chile de arbol. Topped it with cold water and brought the whole thing to just under a simmer, for a nice clear broth, for 3 hours at least or for as long as you want. It smells so good right now! Very comforting.

When it’s done and cooled I strain it, freeze some and use the rest in my other two dishes for the day: yellow split pea soup with smokey ham and my favorite cod stew. Chicken stock gives the stew great richness. Perfect with crusty bread…and a glass of wine!

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