Make Stock You Lazy Gits!
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Diary and Notes
I've said it once and I'll say it again. Make stock you lazy gits!
Don't say you don't have the time. Drag your bit fat carcass away from the TV and make some stock. It takes minutes of actual work and whilst it's bubbling away you can do anything else you like. If your brains are too addled from boggling at Eastenders or repeats of The Golden Girls to think of anything interesting to do, here are some suggestions:
Make some gingerbread men with very large schlongs.
Write a saucy novel where a handsome scientist/chef returns from his travels and is seduced by a rampant housewife who looks just like Nigella Lawson, cooks like Nigella Lawson and really cooks like Nigella Lawson (I don't know if she does really cook but we all imagine she does, don't we?)
Or just do what I do and pop next door to borrow a cup of sugar and then seduce the bored and rather plain looking housewife who answers the knock.
Do anything you feel like, just get that stock a-bubbling away first. It's easy and turns your everyday food into something sublime. This is why posh restaurant food is so much better than most attempts to imitate it at home - good stock. Plus, if the housewife wants to cuddle afterwards, you've got a ready made excuse to leave "Sorry Mildred, I have to go, I've got some stock on the boil." Perfect.
Today I made some chicken stock, then I made some stew. It was simple and quite fantastic. The stock was flavoured with loads of lemon thyme so the kitchen smelt extra special all day. I used the broccoli stalks, some celery and a carrot as well. This was simple, down home cooking, but on a cold December evening, after a hard day sitting around playing computer games, it was manna from heaven.
Almond Finger: Oh the British cakes just don't hit the mark. It was a dry and flavourless almond sponge thingy that would have made a good doorstopper.
Chicken and Vegetable Stew
Stock: Old chicken bits, (bones skin etc...), Onion, Peppercorns, Vegetables, Herbs.
Chicken Stew: Chicken, Olive Oil, Onions, Garlic, Bacon, White Wine, Carrots, Leeks, Broccoli, Chicken Stock, Lemon Thyme, Flour, Butter.
Mash: Potatoes, Butter, Cream, Black Pepper, Salt.
Parsnip Chips: Parsnips, Vegetable Oil.
Skin and joint the chiken, removing the legs and breast (still on the bone). The rest of the bones are for the stock.
Chicken Stock: Get some chicken bones, skin, old leftover bits and put them in a big saucepan. Put in an onion (chopped in half), some peppercorns, any old vegetables you have lying around that are a bit beyond cooking on their own (but not potatoes) and some herbs. Pour on loads and loads of water and bubble away for hours and hours. Remove the solids with a sieve and leave to cool. When cooled, remove the fat that has floated to the surface.
Brown the chicken joints in olive oil. Make sure they are properly browned before adding any of the other ingredients as this prevents them falling apart during the slow simmering. When the chicken is browned add a little finely chopped onion, minced garlic and chopped bacon. Cook a little longer until the onion is soft. Add some white wine and reduce for a few mnutes. Pour in the chicken stock, some thyme leaves, some roughly chopped carrots and leeks. Leave to simmer gently for 3/4 an hour. Don't stir too much as this will break up the chicken portions. When it's nearly time to eat, mix some butter and flour to a paste and add blobs of the paste one at a time to the pot. Stir gently to allow the mix to dissolve. When the stew begins to thicken, stir in the broccoli florets and allow to simmer for five more minutes. Season and eat.