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Here’s a story to illustrate that my myriad cooking attempts are not always winners. I thought to make chicken broth last night and the results? Well…

This is how it started out–I hit up the Berkeley Bowl West meat department and got about 3.5 lbs of chicken backs, grabbed a couple of onions, carrots, a stalk of celery, and and half a head of garlic. Added a few sprigs of parsley, tarragon, as well as another herb. Browned the chicken in olive oil, added the mirepoix of veggies, and now… I’m waiting about 4 hours and we’ll see. I don’t recall having made chicken broth before…or at least in a while, so…

I forgot to deglaze the chicken droppings with wine, but again…we’ll see.

Oh! Here’s another pic.

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Last night I poured out the liquid into a tomato jar (error?) and put it in the fridge. This morning I inspected it, naturally expecting a sheen of chicken fat on the top of it. And indeed, there it was. As I dug deeper with the spoon, it revealed the entire contents, not even two cups worth for all that four hours of cooking, had become a jellied mass of fat and yuck.

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Now, I suppose its possible that this is salvageable, though its not clear how to me. I’ll talk to Mateo, the chef who cooks the soups at Berkeley Bowl West and get his take on it. The way I see it, I spent about $4 on chicken meat (nearly 4 lbs) and maybe a buck on carrots and onion and what-not–this is nearly $5 plus my time to end up with two cups of fatty sludge. Even if it had come out respectably, $5 for two cups of homemade chicken broth hardly seems worth the effort.

More after followup with Mateo.

UPDATE: So…it wasn’t a failure, after all. It’s actually supPOSed to look like that, all gelatinous and yuck. I will skim off some of the fat, taste it for salt and seasoning, and perhaps add some more water to it to extend it.

Worst case– freeze it as ice cubes and add it to various dishes as needed for more flavor. Will ha to do this again,methinks.

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