I’m back at it.
If you’re reading this and not sure what I’m referring to, it’s clear that you haven’t yet read Stock in a Pressure Cooker – Take 1. By all means, go back and give it a read. But the abridged version goes as follows: I wanted to make chicken stock as my 2015 New Year’s resolution. I found a recipe from a Michelin-starred chef. I proceeded to not follow the recipe. The end result was not great. Got it?
The main downfall of my first attempt at Heston Blumenthal’s brown chicken stock was that I simply added too much water. I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough yield for the time and money put toward this kitchen project. Heed my warning (or just use your own common sense) and know that additional water with the original amount of chicken/vegetables does not equate to more stock. I mean, it does, but expect it to be as flavorless as mine. As much as it pained me, I was determined to follow the recipe this time around. Cost be damned.
Now, when you get down to the bottom of this post and see the recipe, you’ll agree that it’s very easy to follow. Roast the wings. Brown the onions, then the carrot and then the mushrooms. Throw everything into the pressure cooker and let it do its thing.
When it comes to simple recipes and techniques, it’s imperative that each step be done properly. When browning the onions, take your time. As you can see here, the onions are starting to brown but there’s still a lot of white.
Some would be tempted to stop at this stage. Don’t give in. Keep stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot so they don’t burn. A pointed wooded spoon really helps for this task as it can cover more surface area and get into the corners (a spoon like Cory’s looks like it would do the trick, as well).
Once they get to this stage, you’re ready to move on to the other vegetables.
Same goes for the chicken wings. Roast and turn and roast and turn until they’re a gorgeous deep golden brown. A little black on the wing tips is no big deal; chalk it up to “depth of flavor” in the end.
Now if those don’t look good, there may just be something wrong with you. If I told you that every single one of those wings made it into the pressure cooker, I’d be lying.
Once the wings reach the pot, just deglaze your roasting pan, scraping up all of the lovely brown and crusty bits. Tip that into the pot and top off with 2 (two) liters of cold water. Just 2!
Bring this up to a simmer, skimming and discarding any fat that rises to the top. Slap the lid onto your pressure cooker and let it come to high pressure. Once there, reduce the heat to low and let it go for two hours.
During this time, if there’s anything in your house that you don’t want smelling like the best roast chicken/French onion soup, I’d suggest putting it behind a tightly sealed door.
After two hours have passed, remove it from the heat and let the cooker lose pressure naturally. Open it up, strain and cool. You’re done.
A few things to note on the stock at this stage:
- There is no salt in this recipe. It took every ounce of my concentration not to instinctively reach for my salt crock during each step of the process.
- Because of this lack of salt, the finished product will seem a bit muted in flavor. But make no mistake; this is packed with the pure essence of chicken.
- The body of the stock is second to none. When you take a spoonful, notice the weight and viscosity in your mouth. Your lips will almost stick together thanks to the gelatin created from all of those wings.
Keeping all of those things in mind, the true beauty of this stock will show in its end use. Though I wouldn’t blame anyone for drinking it straight from underneath the strainer, it will surely be even better served by fortifying your favorite soup, gravy, or gumbo with ridiculous chicken flavor.
For the record, this is not an inexpensive stock to produce. All in all, it ran me about $15 with a final yield of just over five cups. I’m sure it’s a little bit geographically dependent, but where I live, I can get a box (four cups) of the perfectly average tasting store-bought stock for around $3.50. That’s a big difference.
But the difference in flavor is that big as well. Like, HUGE!
Will I be using this recipe for the rest of 2015 for my stock needs? I’m not yet sure. It’s pricey. But boy, oh boy, I am going to thoroughly enjoy using it when I have it in “stock.”
Are you intrigued? Thinking about making this stock? Let us know in the comments below and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.