Boy, does our house smell like chicken !
We tend to get involved in these complex endeavors on the weekend, which makes the weekend seem not much like a weekend, with all the work involved !
A friend had given us some big chicken backs from his "harvest" last year, along with a GIANT chicken. In an attempt to clear some space in the freezer, we decided to make some homemade chicken stock this weekend. This is one of Ray's favorite things to do. His phrase is "Let's make a vat of (fill in the blank here)". So far, we have venison stock and italian sauce in many containers in the freezer. But, since we are clearing space, we are canning the stock rather than freezing it, which adds another layer of complexity to the process.
Stock starts with the chicken backs, water, carrots, celery, onions, herbs and spices. And a LONG day of cooking, which was probably not the smartest way for us to do this, in the middle of summer on an extremely hot day. We also baked the giant chicken. So the house was filled with the wonderful smell of slow cooked chicken all day long. I think maybe neighborhood dogs were crowding the driveway, as you could smell this all the way down the block !
To go with the chicken, I had originally planned creamed leeks and bacon. Then I started thinking about champ, which is an Irish potato dish with leeks and lots of cream. I didn't have cream, but I had sour cream, so I boiled potatoes, then sauteed the leeks in bacon fat and butter, and whipped them all together. I think Ray ate a pound of it !
Canning the chicken stock tonight, so dinner will be chicken salad sandwiches and marinated tomato salad. Perfect for a warm day in a warm kitchen !