Saturday, 7 May 2011

Frugal Chicken Stock Magic

So here I am again, writing about food instead of my arty adventures. My friend Milliande apparently forgets to eat, well that does not happen to me as much as I'd like it to!
Northey Street Organic Farmers Market
Coming home from our wonderful organic farmer's market with a basket and several bags full of colourful, fresh fruit and veg I am inspired to cook.

The shelf in the freezer is full of saved chicken carcasses and I have several veggies in the fridge that need to be used but are a bit past their best. Out comes the stockpot and in with the chicken carcasses. Next I fill the pot with water and add a good tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and let the whole thing thaw,soak and rest for an hour. The acidity of the vinegar draws out the minerals in the chicken bones. I find a lime half and squeeze that in as well.

Next I clean out the fridge to make room for the new veggies. Anything that is still good for the stockpot gets chopped and washed: Celery stalks including the leaves, carrots, coriander roots (cilantro), onion, garlic, snow pea and red cabbage trimmings, broccoli including the stalk, ginger root, leek, spring onion, tomato, mushrooms.
Veggies for the Stock Pot

In the meantime with the fresh basil from the market I make a pesto. The basil stalks get chopped for the stock.

When the stock has come to the boil I skim it. This apparently takes impurities out. I add some bay leaves, a couple of cloves. My Mum, the kitchen goddess usually puts juniper berries in roasts so I try and add a teaspoon of juniper berries. Next the veggies go in and after it has come back to the boil I reduce the heat and let it simmer covered for hours, up to 24 hours. While I have made this stock many times before I have never added that many ingredients and I am hoping the result will be good.
Simmering Stock

Once it will be finished I will strain it and then freeze it in portions for future use in soups, risottos and sauces.

There are parallels between cooking and mixed media art: In both cases I make a terrible mess! The kitchen bench looks as colourful and messy as my art table. And while I can let my arty mess fester I must go and take care of the kitchen. So until next time, cook up a storm whether in the kitchen or in your studio.


  1. Hi Monika! Great post. I did not know about the vinegar/chicken bones trick. I must try that! And, I'm with you...I don't believe I have EVER forgotten to eat. It amazes me that ANYONE could forget to eat. Impossible for me!!! I'm blaming it on my Italian heritage...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

  2. Thank you Liz! I think you have the perfect excuse with your italian roots, not that you need an excuse, too much of our food culture is getting lost with our busy lifestyles:-)xo

  3. I would never forget to eat, and when I have a clear out in the fridge I make a vegetable casserole with dumplings meant to last 2 days but it never does.

  4. Mary, your vegetable casserole sounds yummy!

  5. I have never quite got around to making stock Mon, so I am inspired and I also like the idea of the cider vinegar, I didn't know about that one either.

    I don't forget to eat either, but tonight I cooked with gesso and impasto gel on my fingers, lol. I did wash my hands but some stubbornly refused to be remeoved.

  6. I am making stock as I type Mon, and I remembered to look up your blog - and add the apple cider vinegar, I thought it was lemon juice so I am glad I looked.

    Your mermaids necklace makes wonderful header for "stories of pearls and plunder"

    Blessings Louise