The Silver Palate Cookbook: Basics
November 2007 Cookbook of the Month: The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins.
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I would like to try making the SP chicken stock, as I have never before made my own, but I make soup at least once a week, and I want to enrich the flavors by making my own broth. I'm wondering where to find chicken necks and backs (three pounds for this recipe) -- would I have to go to a specialty meat market for that, or check with the meat department at a big grocery even?
Chicken Stock, p 342
Silver Palate is rocking my world! The chicken stock came out great -- I actually braved gusts from Hurricane Noel and hit the carnicería for the necks. Making my first-ever stock was a perfect way to spend a dark dreary day - the house smelled divine! The process is easy -- brown the necks/backs, sautee the onion and carrot, add some parsley and dried time and bay leaf, cover with water (and canned broth - my only deviation from the recipe was skipping that), boil for 15 mins while skimming, then simmer for a few hours. Push through strainer -- I found that you really have to SQUEEZE all of the solids a lot to get all of the good stuff out! Cover stock and put it in the fridge overnight. Skim off fat. I froze mine in ziplocs - some use ice cube trays for small amounts to add into sauces.
In terms of getting the meat, it is hard to find these parts. Check a carnicería. Stop and Shop laughed at me when I called requesting these parts. The kosher butcher wanted to charge me $1.70/lb for these! To my surprise, I found that the butcher at Whole Foods was the most accommodating -- he ordered the backs for me for my second batch today, for less than $1/pound.
I have a new Le Creuset pot (yay! yay!) so I'll break it in with Round Two of the stock today. I've been reading lots of stock threads about various methods -- I know many people use the whole bird or carcasses. But this is perfect for a beginner like me, I think :)
Berta's Chicken Stock, in the SP Good Times, calls for a whole stewing chicken and carrots, parsnips, celery, dill, onion (p 396). I might try those veggies this time for a different spin on it.
My one question: they include 2 cans of broth in their stock. I did not add this, nor do I want to...it seems to defeat the whole purpose. It was exquisitely rich without that, anyway. Any thoughts on this???
My dance teacher and I chatted about homemade stock in class one day, as I was bubbling with excitement about this -- and she said when hers is sitting overnight in the fridge, she adds either a whole raw onion or some saffron. I think I'll try that this time.
Homemade Mayonnaise, page 339
I am always so much more pleased with mayonnaise when I make it myself. I usually use Deborah Madison's recipe in VCFE, so I had fun trying a new recipe.
I used my Krups mini-prep for this (PERFECT size for a batch of mayo, and I found this awesome little gadget at a yard sale!) and whipped it up in a flash. My sweety despises the taste of storebought mayo, and always raves much more about salads I prepare with homemade mayo. I should make it more often but I feel guilty because we can never go through the batch before it goes bad.
I used a mix of vegetable oil (a cup) and olive oil (1/2 cup), and I decided decrease the overall amount of oil by 1/2 cup, because I liked the texture with the 1 1/2 cups.
I tried Tarragon Chicken Salad (p. 205, though I did alter their recipe some) with this mayo and I was delighted with the flavor. It really soaked up the essence of the fresh tarragon I used in the salad.
Berta's chicken stock is the best. The parsnip adds a peppery punch. Depending on what I am using it for, sometimes I substitute thyme for the dill. A chef friend told me to use a store bought rotisserie chicken to get the advantage of all the drippings on the skin.