Sunday, September 1, 2013

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock is easy!

So, the ingredients are:

3+ quarts water
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 head garlic, top third sliced off
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs fresh tarragon
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leave
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
Salt to taste
Chicken parts – I use chicken feet and necks along with the carcass from a roasted chicken.

Spread all the chopped up veggies and the chicken feet on a roasting pan, sprinkle the salt, pepper and herbs on top (except the bay leaves). Roast all of this, stirring them up on occasion, until brown.

Here's the roasted feet and veggies. 

Dump the roasted chicken parts in a stock pot along with the carcass and the bay leaves. Add the water, ensuring that everything is covered by at least an inch.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least six hours. Strain, degrease and then let it cool. Transfer to airtight containers. Refrigerate or freeze until you want to use it.

Roast Pheasant with Orange Sauce

Another Sunday afternoon experimenting in the kitchen. Today's effort was to feature pheasant. Here's the final dish with glazed carrots and a rice pilaf. 

I used the following for the pheasant.

Fresh ground pepper
1 small orange, halved
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
1 sprig of fresh thyme
3 or 4 slices of bacon
Splash of Madeira
1/3 cup or so of rich chicken stock
Tablespoon of butter

Position oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat oven to 500 F.

Season the cavity and the outside of the pheasant with salt and pepper.

Juice the orange and reserve the juice for the sauce. Take about ½ of one of the halves of orange (so, about ¼ of the orange) and roughly chop it up. Mix with the chopped onion and carrot and stuff the pheasant with the vegetables and the fresh thyme. Truss the bird closed. 

Here's the pheasant ready to be stuffed.


Arrange the pheasant on a rack on a pan that can be put in the oven. Could use a roasting pan. I found a small frying pan works well. 

Here's the pheasant on the rack on the pan.

Arrange the bacon on top of the pheasant so that the bacon will stay in place (I weaved the bacon) and covers the top of the bird.

Here's the pheasant with bacon on it.

Roast for 15 minutes and then remove the bacon.

Here's the pheasant ready to remove the bacon.

Roast for another 30 – 40 minutes until it is done. Important not to over cook! Pheasants are lean and can dry out in a hurry. Check the bird after 20 minutes to see if it needs to covered with aluminum foil (if there is a nice brown to it, cover it!).

When the pheasant is done, tent it on the cutting board while you make the sauce.

Here's the pheasant ready to be tented.

Now it is time for the sauce.

Here are the main ingredients (also need that Tablespoon of butter!).

Pour off the grease in the pan and then deglaze the pan with the orange juice and the Madeira. Let this reduce down to half.

Now add the chicken stock and reduce it down to half again. Here it is ready to strain.

Strain the liquid into a bowl and add the butter, swirling to melt the butter.

Carve the pheasant by removing the carcass. Place half of the pheasant on each plate and spoon over some of the sauce.