Homemade Chicken Stock – Or What to Do With That Carcass…

Homemade Chicken StockLots of stuff under the banner of homemade banner this week.  I guess everything is really homemade, if – you know – you make it in your home.  That aside, I just made a chicken.  Quite tasty that.  Once you’re done with the bird, or at least get it out of your cooking vessel, you’re left with juices and whatnot.  Generally I put the stuff that comes out during cooking in a little container and pop that into the fridge.  It’s good chicken goodness – I use it to flavor just about anything really; mushrooms – yup, potatoes – yup, risotto – yup, anywhere you need some oil or fat and chicken would be a nice addition – this is the ticket.

At the point where you’ve gotten all the usable things off of your bird – you’ll have a carcass.  I used to just toss that into the trash (now the compost – here in Seattle.)  Mistake.  We go through a lot of chicken stock.  Not that it’s too expensive, but with the amount of chicken we eat – why not make my own?  Good question.  I didn’t think it was particularly hard, but it does take some time to get things cooked down properly. Continue reading

Simply Roasted Moist and Tasty Whole Chicken

Simply Roasted ChickenPoorly cooked chicken makes me want to throw furniture.  Really.  Dry chicken should be a crime, like the Hague should investigate.  It’s not hard to make truly moist and tasty chicken.  But it’s amazing the number of times I’ve been subject to a dry piece of meat foisted upon me.  Unfortunate at best.

I try to make a whole chicken whenever I have a recipe that’s chicken based.  There’s a few reasons for that.  First, it’s cheaper.  Buying a whole chicken and cooking it, then breaking it down, always makes for meat for everyone dollar for dollar.  Second, I get to make some homemade chicken stock.  I’m always happy to be presented with a carcass.  What’s better than free chicken stock.  And thirdly, it’s always more moist and more tasty when you make a whole bird.  Well that’s my take at least.  I can buy a free range four pound bird for six bucks.  That’s cheap eats.  No way around it.  It’s also incredibly easy to make.  And I have never screwed up a little bird, ever.  Even a little over-cooked and they are just dripping moisture.  I can’t imagine what people do to these when they present something that’s sawdust dry.  What gives? Continue reading

Mole Poblano with Chicken

Mole Poblano with Chicken

So Chicken Mole Poblano.  I like moles quite a bit.  There are all manner of moles.  Pink, yellow, verde, Colorado, Oaxaca, Poblano…on and on.  They all have something going for them.  I love chocolate and any opportunity to work it into any recipe is reason enough for me to try it.  Top if off with being quite tasty to boot and what’s not to like?  I’m sure there would be a great swath of folks from Mexico, little old ladies and chefs alike, who’d argue that this is anything but a real mole.  A “real” mole might take hours and hours of cooking and roasting and all manner of wonderful things to make the very complex flavors that are indicative of them.  I don’t have 16 hours and neither do you (well maybe you do – I’m jealous if that’s the case.)  This recipe, however, is delightful, can be used any number of different ways, and is fairly quick to put together.  It’s also fairly complex, not overly chocolatey, and is quite spicy.  I’ve used this with chicken cut up, shredded, just made the sauce and drizzled it over whole chicken breasts, it works with eggs, making breakfast burritos, with pork….would you like me to go on?  It’s very versatile and it’s quite tasty.

I never would have tried this to be honest, but my other half loves this stuff and our inability to find a good one anywhere around our place meant I needed to find a recipe to make up for that inadequacy.  What emerged was this recipe (after some incredible disasters – stuff that tasted like chalk) but it’s a recipe which he loves, and so do I. Continue reading