Pressure-cooker chicken stock [split from France board]
If you are going to be in France for awhile, I would heartily recommend buying a small pressure cooker. I have two, the smallest of which is 4 quarts, made by Fagor, whose products are sold in France. You can make homemade stock in approximately 45 minutes, including prep time, in the cooker. I do it all the time. It's a lifesaver, and I don't have to buy stock. Plus you'll have some nice leftover chicken. (I use legs from Trader Joe's.)
For some reason, people still have this idea that pressure cookers are a problem. As long as you follow the instructions, they are easy and quick.
I recommend bringing over a bunch of this
Both options are about 100 times better than cubes. I don't have any use for the whole Knorr or Maggi product line.
I have to say that I have tried stock in the pressure cooker on a half-dozen occasions, and while it's okay in a time crunch, I just don't get the depth of flavor that results from using the crockpot or just letting it simmer while I do other things.
It's not a user issue - I use the pressure cooker a lot in the cooler months very successfully to turn out all kinds of meals that I'd usually take all afternoon to prepare...It's just stock that just doesn't seem to have the oomph I prefer.
Here's my recipe:
4-6 chicken legs (just legs)
2 carrots sliced into 1/2" pieces
2 celery stalks slice the same
1 large onion halved then sliced in 1/4" slices (you can also use green leek tops)
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
cover with water up to about 3 inches from the lip of the cooker.
Bring up to temp. Cook 25-45 minutes under pressure. Let pressure naturally release.
If you use a 4 quart, this should yield about 3 quarts of stock. If the flavor isn't deep enough, boil it down by half or more.
I oftentimes will be down this stock to about two cups of very intense stock. You could, if you have the space, pour these into ice cubs trays and freeze them.
Personally, I would prefer this to any cube or powdered product.
I totally agree with krystof although my stock recipe is much more … streamlined.
1 chicken carcass.
Water to cover.
Read your Herald Tribune. Study your Paris maps.
Half an hour later the broth is ready. I would not cook more than 45 minutes or 1 hour most.
Esp if you say you care about food and you have a kitchen in Paris…
First get a poulet fermier. It is extra tasty down to, and especially, the carcass. Poulet fermier carcass makes the juiciest tastiest broth. Why go for some MSG-filled cube and waste that poulet fermier carcass instead?