Now I am making Chicken Soup/stock and am a little confuzzled!
First thank you to everyone that responded to my cry for the best ever fried chicken recipe!
Now I am making chicken soup/stock. I started it in a huge pot that could probably hold 4 whole chickens with no problem. I have put in my collection of chicken parts, some carrots, green onions and celery as well as a bunch of smashed up garlic cloves,a lemon cut in half and lots of pepper! In fact too much pepper. I have been simmering this since 5:30 am pacific time. I have some questions...,
The pepper has made the broth rather spicey. I used the coarse ground pepper . Is there any way I can reduce the pepper taste, possibly countering it with sugar?
Also, I keep reading prior posts and they say to skim off the fat. I thought the fat added flavor so in the past I left it in. When you skim off the fat I have also read you can save it. What would you use it for? One post mentioned saving it to make biscuits so if anyone has any thoughts on that I would appreciated it.
Since I used such a huge pot, I am unsure how to reduce the stock. Do I just let it boil for a few hours or keep it on a roiling simmer or what?
I plan to keep it on the stove all day then use some for my chicken soup tonight and freeze the rest. I have read some people simmer their stock up to 24 hours so if I am doing it too long please let me know!
I have been all over the chicken soup treads and found them very helpful but did not find the answers to my question so I would love to hear from all you experienced cooks on how I can remedy my soup/stock!
p.s. I just ot an email from a friend who started a hen house and just found his first ever egg! The email came with a portrait of the little one. I feel so guilty now making this soup! Here is a pic of the little bugger!
You could try adding some more water to dilute the pepper-y taste. I typically don't like to season the stock much as I'm usually using it for another end product where I can adjust the seasoning as needed.
Once you've brought it to a boil, you should simmer for some time to reduce.
I don't know what to use the skimmed fat for as I've always thrown it out.
Best of luck.
Remember that when you reduce your stock the flavors intensify, so you may want to add more water. I usually use whole peppercorns when making stock so that I can adjust seasoning in the final product.
You've put in a lot more flavorings then I generally use, but let's go from where you are. First, you might want to sieve the stock now and see if you can pull out that pepper--maybe that will keep the stock from getting any spicier. Second, I would say your stock is done, I think 7 hours is enough. At this point, you might want to let it cool slightly and skim off some of the fat. If you trimmed the chicken of fat before cooking there won't be that much, otherwise if you don't skim it now it could taste greasy rather than just rich. For the future, my suggestion would be to season the broth less at the start and add flavorings when you make dishes--that gives you more versatility.
I generally don't add aromatics since that leaves me with a neutral product that I can then modify further. But exactly how much pepper did you toss in there? Most of the time, we're talking 12 or so whole grains for 12-16 quarts of liquid.
You're supposed to skim off the scum once you get the pot to a simmer to ensure that you get as clear a broth as possible (no rolling boils or else everything is cloudy).
If you elect to collect the fat, either by skimming, fat separator or doing the "let's chill the pot and let the fat congeal" method, you can use it in a variety of things, including matzoh balls and dumplings, pot pie crusts, or as the fat element when doing sous-vide chicken. You've already got a biscuit idea. I made a chicken fat mayonnaise once which was interesting to say the least.
To reduce the stock after you've removed all the solids *and* the fat: transfer to a clean pot and gently simmer until you get to the concentration you're looking for.