Cook the Book: Chicken Broth

[Photograph: JoePhoto]

Homemade chicken stock and broth is an all-day affair—not very labor-intensive, but time-consuming. Once every month or two I chose a day when I am free from obligations and when my crisper drawer is brimming with vegetables that have seen better days to make a few quarts of stock.

But there have been many occasions when the reserve I thought was in my freezer has been used up and I must resort to store-bought. I generally don't like to use the boxed or canned version, since even the highest quality you can buy doesn't measure up to the one that you simmer for hours on your stove top.

While perusing the recipes in Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass I came across a group of recipes for broth made in a pressure cooker, all of which take no longer than an hour to complete, including the time it takes for the pressure cooker to release its pressure and cool.

Homemade chicken broth in less than an hour? This could mean the end of purchased stock for good—sign me up!

I decided the best way to see just how this time-saving chicken broth measured up was to make a batch using the pressure cooker and one using the traditional slow simmer method and compare the results.

Sass's recipe is pretty standard—chicken pieces, some aromatics, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. Minus the parsnip and dried mushrooms, it's almost identical to the one I make all the time. I doubled the ingredients and evenly distributed them among a stock pot and my newly acquired pressure cooker.

Hours later the pressure-cooker version is long finished and the stove top stock is cooled down enough to taste. I was under the assumption that the traditionally made broth would be the winner, but flavorwise the pressure cooker comes out on top—salty, meaty, and entirely chickeny.

It's a method that can be made in less than an hour, and that makes it totally doable and approachable. No more store bought-stock—just carrots, onions, celery, and the pressure cooker.

Win Make it Fast, Cook it Slow

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Cooking Under Pressure to give away this week.

Cook the Book: Chicken Broth

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About This Recipe

Yield:about 1 1/2 quarts

Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds stewing chicken, cut into 6 pieces, or one turkey carcass with some meat intact, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
    • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3 to 4 chunks
    • 2 carrots, cut into 3 to 4 chunks
    • 1 to 2 parsnips, cut into 3 to 4 chunks (optional)
    • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
    • A few leek greens (optional)
    • 4 to 5 dried mushrooms (optional)
    • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    • Large bunch of parsley stems
    • 1 bay leaf

Procedures

  1. 1

    Place all of the ingredients in the cooker. Add just enough water to cover by 1 inch.

  2. 2

    Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 30 minutes. Let the pressure drip naturally, about 25 minutes, or use a quick-release method. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow the steam to escape.

  3. 3

    Allow the broth to cool slightly. Strain into a large storage container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove the congealed fat from the top before using or freezing.

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