Monday, October 14, 2013

Chicken Stock in the Pressure Cooker

After the Sunday roast chicken has been eaten, and the last of the meat has been pulled from the bones and lies boxed in the fridge, there is still one last meal to be squeezed from the carcass. It is time to make stock for soup.

Into the pressure cooker goes all that remains: skin, bones and cartilage. Add a quartered onion and a sliced carrot. A couple of stalks and seedy parts from green peppers. Four peppercorns, a good pinch of celery seed, a bay leaf or two.

Now pour in a couple of litres of water - enough to cover it all. Bring to the boil. Close the lid and bring up to high pressure. Let it hiss to itself over a low flame for an hour or so to leach the gelatinous proteins and minerals from the bones, to melt away the cartilaginous joint capsules into the water, to extract all the flavour possible from the last of the chicken.

When the hour is up, turn off the heat and let it stand and cool. When the pressure has released, strain through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the solid remains, and put your stock into the fridge to chill. By the morning it will have jelled, ready to be made into soup.