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Feb 12, 2008 09:15 PM

Man, I'm dumb...

So I made this lovely roast chicken on Sunday and after watching an episode of Barefoot Contessa I was determined to use ALL my chicken and make a stock as well.

So today I set out all my ingredients and chop them up and put them in the pot. I grab a bag of chicken and start cooking away.

Fast forward about 6 hours....I'd already taken the stock off the stove a few hours before and my boyfriend was digging around the fridge for his evening snack. He looks at me and asks, "What chicken did you use for the stock?"

"Ummmm...the chicken in the fridge."

"As in the leftover breast and meat?"


I look over to see him holding up the bag holding the carcass of our recently eaten chicken.

Ugh. I feel so dumb right now. The chicken had been organic and pricey and I had thrown about half of the meat into the stock. :( at least I still have that *&^?! carcass to make another round of stock!

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    1. You guys are all too funny!!

      ...Now, in order to keep us all from getting booted off the board for not staying on topic, I'll share a "Man, I'm dumb" moment I had just last week. (And hopefully, in the process, somebody will learn from my error.)

      I was doing some baking for my wife's work, so the scones, muffins, and banana bread were already done and cooled. Then I also decided to add some sweetness to the mix, in the form of brownies (from scratch). Unfortunately I don't usually make them so I was poring over a couple of recipes and trying to decide which one to use with the ingredients I already had.

      Here's the mistake: short on ingredients for any single recipe--as well as short on sleep--I combined two recipes. (Don't ask how!)

      End result: bitter, bitter brownies which the garbage bin devoured with glee... at 1:00 in the morning

      Reason: since I didn't have bittersweet baking chocolate squares, I liquefied cocoa powder with vegetable oil (standard substitution) but forgot to add the sugar! ...And yes, I already know that bittersweet chocolate still has sugar in it; blame the lack of sleep!

      Kicker #1: Instead of a whole pan cut into squares, I made *little muffin-shaped brownies* (a la supermarket "two-bite" brownies).

      Kicker #2: It was a double batch.

      Postscript: I made one last quick batch according to the recipe on the back of the Chipits chocolate chip bag! Went over famously!

      Lesson to learn: take a nap before you bake.


      1 Reply
      1. re: homebaker

        Well, being of the "make lemonade" persuasion, rather than throw away all that great -- not to mention "not cheap" -- cocoa in the bitter brownies, I would have tried to figure out how to reclaim the loss... no, I'm not cheap. Just frugal. '-)

        Could you have tossed them in a food processor and reprocessed them into something else? Chocolate rice pudding? Chocolate cake? Chocolate sauce? In a blender with milk for a shake?

        But hey, you WERE sleep deprived. Poor baby! Does your wife know how lucky she is? The ONLY time my first husband cooked for me was to bring me a sandwich and a bowl of Campbell's chicken noodle soup to bed. We'd just come from my doctor's office, and I thought the doctor must have told him I was dying. ONLY reason I could think of for such odd behavior!

      2. I'll bet it was absolutely delicious.
        For the rest of this, pretend, about a week has gone by already, because otherwise, it will sound like I'm giving way too much information, when all you really need is a "don't worry".
        The next time you want to make stock, raw bones are best, and you can buy them in a pack for about a dollar and change (murray's are good). The bits of meat that cling to the bones is fine, but you don't need meat for stock. (although if I am making stock, I love to poach say, a chicken breast in there for about 9 minutes, which makes the breast taste delicious and only adds flavor to the stock). Bring all those bones to a boil, throw out the water, rinse, and add new water. Then your carrot, onion, celery, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, a piece of tomato maybe..let it simmer over a super low flame and it will be so good you will make it over and over again and become the stock queen.

        7 Replies
        1. re: fayehess

          You throw out the water after brining the bones to a boil? I've never heard of that before. Don't you lose some of the flavor?

          1. re: MMRuth

            Korean stock making the first boil is used as a "cleanser". It gets rid of excess blood which causes foaming. Nearly all bones are either soaked for several hours or brought to a boil & first water discarded (sometimes both).

            1. re: MMRuth

              It takes so little time to get the bones to come to a boil, that you don't risk losing any of the flavor--and it is a great way to get rid of a lot of those nasty coagulants that can make a stock taste muddy and keep you from getting it to be clear, no matter how much skimming you do (don't forget to skim)

              1. re: fayehess

                Interesting - thanks to both of you.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Extremely interesting! But it makes sense. The only problem I have is that I have NEVER seen packages of chicken bones in a market. But maybe I haven't looked closely enough. I have several Asian markets near me, some quite large. Maybe I should pay more attention in those meat departments!

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    Some Asian markets (and other ethnic markets) will sometimes purchase and package the bones left over from all those "boneless, skinless" cuts. They can be hard to find though.
                    If your local meat market does their own boneless chicken cuts, you may be able to ask them to hold some bones over for you.

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      I get mine at Fairway in NYC, but any butcher worth his meat will give you good bones (wings and backs are best)

            2. Oh I'm definitely dumber, I ruined a giant batch of Seville orange marmelade last weekend. I didn't read the recipe properly and added the sugar at the beginning instead of the end. The end result was about 4 gallons of orange tar for 5 hours work.

              I'd throw that carcass in the freezer for another day. That's probably what Ina would do.

              1. Well, since you've done this grand experiment for us--I'm curious--how did the stock made with the chicken, rather than the carcass, taste? Any different in taste or texture from stock made the traditional way?

                Also, it could be worse. I once poured off a half a pot of stock until something in the back of my brain remembered I was supposed to be saving the stock, not the bones and vegetables and other goodies I used to make the stock...


                2 Replies
                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I stopped making stock after the SECOND time I poured it all down the drain and was left with a colander full of meat, bones and veggies. Kitchen Basics stock in a box became my lifelong friend that well as our local butcher who often sells various stocks they make.

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I haven't had time to make the carcass stock yet and I probably won't be able to since I'm going out of town tomorrow. However, the stock accident actually turned out really good. I stuck my finger in there and it's a little rich, but not as fatty tasting as I was expecting it to be. I froze it anyways since I think it will end up being useful in the chicken pot pies I want to make next week. :D