At a time of year when soups and stews really hit the spot, starting with a well-structured chicken stock is a delicious place to begin. So I take the time to make sure my freezer is filled with a generous supply. Then throughout the winter, I pull from my frosty cache of liquid gold and spin it into fabulous fare.
Of course, over time, my approach to making chicken stock has evolved. For example, I’ve never seen one that calls for garlic, but a few years ago, I decided to give it a try and found out it truly does contribute a delightful depth of flavor without overwhelming. When fresh garlic is cooked for the hour-plus that it is here, in a huge amount of liquid, only a gentle essence remains.
Another way it has evolved is in my method of preparation. I’m so attached to my Cuisinart electric pressure cooker that it has become second nature to delegate lengthy cooking tasks such as making chicken stock to the pressure cooker. A conventional stove-top approach takes about 90 minutes. In an electric pressure cooker, only 30 minutes. Up until now, I haven’t bothered to mention this approach. But with the dramatic upswing in popularity the Instant Pot has been enjoying this past year, I suspect that an entirely new audience of electric pressure cooker fans has developed. So in my chicken stock recipe below, you will find an electric pressure cooker alternative.
If you decide to give my chicken stock preparation a try, then one of your first uses for it could be my One-Pot-Chicken with Noodles, Ginger and Lemon recipe. This is a delightful dish. Something to be admired for its richness of flavor and ease of preparation. After I pulled this recipe together, the big question was whether I could pass it along to readers. Even if I fine-tuned directions down to the very last teaspoon of shredded ginger, it was particularly fraught with variables capable of undermining another cook’s chance for success: the quality of the chicken stock, the potency of the ginger root, the style of the chili-garlic paste, to name just a few. In other words, the most critical ingredient in this dish might well be a cook’s intuition. Yet, armed with that — and a little knowledge — one will be able to look between the lines of the recipe, interpret what I was aiming for, and even take it to another level.
But like I said, a significant part of this recipe’s success relies on the really good chicken stock. So, first things first...