Stocks 101: Chicken Broth with Matzo Balls

For the second part of the Stocks 101 workshop, Ian showed us how to make a white stock. White stock is basically made with chicken bones and veggies like carrots, celery, onions, leeks and herbs like peppercorns, bay leaf and parsley.

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Another thing that Ian brought up was you can add fillers like mushrooms, dumplings and grains like quinoa into a stocks to make a more filling soup.

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Ian planned to make a Chicken Broth with Matzo Balls from the white stocks. Matzo ball mix is a flour/wheat base with leavening. It is a great pantry item to whip up some quick dumplings.

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So, the first thing Ian prepared was the Matzo dough using the store bought Matzo ball mix. According to the instructions, you’ll need to add 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil and salt to taste. You may add bits of ham, mushrooms, etc into the dough if you like to. It will form a wet dough and need to be chilled in the fridge to firm up while Ian proceed to demonstrate how to debone a chicken for the chicken stocks.

Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-4First, Ian bisected the chicken wings at the socket into wing tips, winglets and drumettes. Ian used a small pairing knife to do the whole deboning process, amazing!Tip: roasted wing tips are great for nibbling.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-5Next, Ian separated the thigh from the breast by slicing through the skin between the thigh and the breast. There is no meat attach there.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-6The next step is to bend the chicken leg the other way slowly to dislocate the joint.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-7To remove the leg, Ian pulled back the leg, peeled and cut a little at a time towards the bone.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-8What is left is the breast and the frame. The breast bone in the middle is very soft. Cut one or two milliliters from the breast bone down the center and you’ll see the tenderloin and the breast.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-9Cut towards the bones to remove the breast and tenderloin.Tip: remove the tendon from the tenderloin which is chewy by holding the tendon and scraping it off the tenderloin.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-10Finally,you’ll end up with the carcass for making stocks. You’ll need about 6 carcasses to make stocks. Stuff the neck and any other bones into the carcass when freezing it to save storage space.
Chicken-Broth-with-Matzo-Ball-11Ian also showed us how to stretch a chicken breast by butterflying it at the thicker part. One chicken breast can feed two people by thinning it out, pounding it and breading it.Tip: deep fried the chicken skins to make crackers.

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To make the chicken stocks, Ian used 6 carcasses with bones. Frozen bones are best for making stocks. You do not need to defrost the bones for making soup because as you defrost, you’ll loose some flavour through the liquids from defrosting.

If you roast the bones before making stocks, you’ll end up with a brown stock. Roasted chicken bones will make the stocks sweeter.

To make the chicken stocks, Ian added 4 carrots, 2 sticks of celery, 1 large onion, some thymes and 1/2 teaspoons whole peppercorn. The vegetables are chopped relatively small so that more surfaces are exposed and give more flavour. The ratio of vegetables to chicken bones is about 20%. Add enough cold water to cover all the ingredients and bring the water to a boil. Once it’s starts to bubble, reduce it to low heat to simmer, uncover. Do not bring the stocks to a rolling boil as it will yield a greasy stock. The rolling boil process will emulsify the fat. Skim off the scums that forms on the top with a spoon.

The chicken stocks has to be simmered for 45 minutes to an hour. Do not over cook the stocks as the vegetables will disintegrate and makes a the soup cloudy or muddy. Strain the stocks and chill in the refrigerator after it cools off. You may then remove the fat cap easily the next day.

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Stocks 101: Butternut and Coconut Cream Soup with Veggie Stocks

This is the second workshop organized by the Richmond Food Security Society on Basic Food Skills. This workshop is all about stocks.

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I must say that documenting such workshop is the hardest. All I got was the few words on the board. I had to take photos and notes at the same time. Unfortunately, I do not know short hand and have not pickup the texting language. I’m trying my best to share what I learnt.

We learned from Ian, that there are three kinds of stocks, brown stocks, white stocks and veggie stocks. Brown stocks is usually made with veal and chicken bones and it takes a long time to make, something like 12 hours to simmer. So, we are not going to do this. It is usually made in restaurant with shift work.

White stocks is made with chicken bones and veggies like celery, onions, leeks, carrots and herbs.

Veggies stocks is also made with veggies like celery, onions, leeks, carrots and herbs. The ratio of celery, carrot, leek and onion is 1:1:1:2. Leeks can be substituted with onions as it’s expensive.

Herbs which are common for making stocks includes pepper corns, bay leaf and parsley.

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It is recommended to use a tall pot to make stocks. Tall and slender pot is recommended to prevent too much evaporation during simmering as the stocks is to be simmered uncovered.

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Ingredients

To make veggie stocks, Ian used:

  • two carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
  • some frozen chopped parsley (leftovers from the previous workshop)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorn
  • 1 bay leaf (if possible, get some from someone with a Bay Laurel tree, an evergreen tree which has more intense flavour than those store bought one)
  • a small bunch of thymes

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  • a stock of lemon grass (to tie to the Thai flavour as Ian will be making a Butternut and Coconut Cream Soup with the veggie stocks). Cut the lemon grass 6 inches from the root, remove the outer husk, trim root off and rough chop.

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  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (without the skin as the skin makes the stocks bitter)
  • 1 leek roughly chopped (use only the white part as the greens will yield a dark stocks, make sure you wash the leek thoroughly as it often has dirts in between the leaves)
  • 1-inch chunk of ginger
  • cold water just enough to cover all the veggies

Instructions

  • Bring the water to just bubbling, lower heat and let simmer, uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes.

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After simmering for 30 to 40 minutes, you’ll get a flavourful clear veggie broth. Strain the stocks.

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