The one constant of the parties, classes and events I've worked since the new year is not what you'd expect. The focus and menus have run the gamut, the participants as varied as the weather here in St. Louis (from corporate execs to very young pasta makers [see photo]), and I've rarely heard the words "diet" or "fast" uttered (although perhaps they've been replaced by "cleanse"). No, the constant, which shouldn't come as a huge surprise this time of year, are those nagging, sniffling colds which seem to be omnipresent right now. Now much to the dismay of our customers in the pharmaceutical industry, we here at the traveling kitchen subscribe to the age-old, cure-all for these annoying ailments: homemade chicken broth. And conventional wisdom to the contrary making this amazing cold remedy is just about as easy as running out to the pharmacy. In fact there are really only two important things to remember in making chicken broth, or any stock for that matter: start with cold water (it allows for a cleaner tasting, less "muddied" end product) and just cover the bones with water (we're going for a rich, delicious broth; not chicken water). Here is a great stock recipe, don't forget to freeze any extra broth in a ice cube tray or plastic container (3/4 full).
Makes 4 Quarts.
Chicken Bones, Rinsed with Cold Water
(should include leg and wings with meat) 6-7#
Water, Cold Just Enough to Cover Bones
Onion, Cubed 1 Large
Carrot, Peeled/Cubed 4 Medium
Celery, Cubed 4 Outer Stalks
Peppercorns, Black 10
Tomato Paste (optional) 2 Tablespoons
Kosher Salt 1/4 Cup
Fresh Thyme 2-3 Sprigs
Fresh Parsley (optional) 3-4 Sprigs
In a large stock pot, combine everything and cover with cold water, just to cover. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Strain and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Allow to cool completely to degrease or use a stale piece of bread to absorb fat residue that settles on top of broth.)