The Wonders of Stock

After making veal stock using the French Laundry method, tying up my range for 48 hours and not sleeping for 2 1/2 days, I have determined that simpler methods and more reasonable quantities are in order for stock to me a routine part of my already hectic life. With that said, Jennifer volunteered me to make soup for the “Shepard’s Table Soup Kitchen” at our church which is basically a bible study where old heads drop in and eat soup every Tuesday for lunch. The priest who presides over this affair has Celiac sprue, which for laymen is gluten-intolerance meaning that if he eats wheat based products, he breaks out in a horrific rash. Thus my task was to make soup for about 30 people, gluten-free, which should not be a problem if you thicken with corn starch and avoid wheat-based noodles…

I figured for 30 people, I would need about 10 ounces per person, so I reasoned that I would need about to make about 3 gallons of stock to be safe = 384 ounces and end up with around 2 1/2 gallons of soup.

For the stock, this may shock you, but I used a Ratio! (3:2 water:bone) = 384 oz water (3 gallon) & 256 oz bone (~15 lbs). I only had about 2 lbs of bones in my fridge, so I added another 10 lbs of chicken wings and 3 lbs of turkey necks hacked all to hell. I dropped the bones 2 pots, added the water, brought to a simmer skimming, skimming, skimming…then I transferred to 180 degree oven and didn’t touch for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, I skimmed again and added the mirepoix and sachet d’espices and returned to the oven for another hour.

After that I removed from the oven, strained 3 times into one pot and moved to the sink to cool in an ice bath.
The following day, I prepped the soup.  I first simmered about a dozen bone in chicken breasts in my stock for 30 minutes.  Whilst this was happening, I chopped my mirepoix/garnish for the actual soup.  Once the chicken was done, I removed and shredded the meat with a fork.  I then strained the stock 2 more times, reserving 6 cups for dinner…
The following day, I left instructions and several glad containers on my kitchen counter for Belinda and later than night, the stock pot returned empty with a note from Rev Andy who was happy to have homemade chicken soup & to be rash free 🙂
This brings me back to my dinner.  I was giddy and nearly intoxicated by the chickeny goodness, so I decided to make a consomme.    Here’s my mise…
The “raft” is then pureed…

Then stirred into the stock…

Then the “raft” floats to the top in one disgusting clump resembling something you would find in an elementary school hallway after too many Jungle Juices covered with that janitor saw dust stuff…

See what I mean…yuck!

But in the end, a miracle happens!  Look you can read the date on this nickel at the bottom of the pot!  (or you could if I’d taken the picture with something other than my phone)

The end result is a crystal clear chicken soup/consomme…I love cooking!

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