Today was an odd day. I had planned to spend the day shopping (with no tax) with my sweet mother. The only other plan for the day was roasting a local chicken for dinner and making stock with the carcass. So, for breakfast, I worked in the garden with my coffee, local milk and a couple of slices of my dear friend’s home cured bacon. Then I picked my mom up, and she was neither in the mood for our planned shopping spree, or physically capable of such madness. So, we went to her favorite place for lunch, Gueros, and I had a salad. The Guero’s salad to be exact. Then I dropped her off and came home, deflated that my brilliant mom/daughter planned failed.
But, I had thawed a Smith and Smith chicken that I bought from the farmer’s market a couple weeks ago. I rubbed it down with Adobo spice and salt and Cayenne pepper spice and roasted it in the oven. I ate it with Lowell Farms rice and some roasted onions and peppers from the farmer’s market.
Then, I cleaned the meat off the chicken and stored it, then placed the carcass in a pot of water, with thyme and bay from the garden, a garden onion, and simmered it for three hours. The house was warm and intoxicating with the smell of the stock. The older I get, the more of a Fall and Winter person I become. My freezer is now full of the makings for dishes that take all day, and fill the house with warmth and wonderful smells.
I would have liked to cook it down for another 2 hours, but bedtime beckoned. I placed a handled collander, lined with paper towels, on top of a large bowl, and poured the whole lot into it, thus straining out the fat, bones, onions, herbs and other solids. The result was an amazingly fragrant bowl of broth.
I now have a freezer full of homemade broth, from the same chicken who made my dinner, and probably several more meals this week. It makes me feel slightly more honorable, that I used this whole chicken, rather than discarding the bones and skin. And I’m also so much more ready for Fall and Winter cooking now, that I have this flavorful broth in my freezer for homemade soups, stews and whatever else I can think of.
I am clearly turning into a cool weather girl, after growing up on the Texas Coast.