Easiest Chicken Stock Recipe Ever

Simple Chx Stock

Growing up in my father’s kitchens, I have made, and helped make, oceans of chicken stock. The first job every morning, after turning on the lights and ovens, was to pull the leftover-roasted chicken, bones, and veggies from the walk-in, and get the stock started.

Real chicken stock is the backbone of countless dishes in a restaurant, from soups and gravies, to rice and potatoes, to pan sauces and poaching liquid.

It’s really indispensable.

I’m going to say, right up front, that there’s no replacement for a deep, rich stock that’s simmered for hours, pulling every bit from flavor out of the meat and veggies, and into the liquid.

However, there are easier ways to do it, and this is my favorite…using the crock pot!

You’ll need:

  • 3-4 roasted bone-in chicken thighs (get them from the hot deli counter at your favorite grocery. A whole “Costco” bird, breasts removed, is awesome for this, too!)
  • Half a dozen whole garlic cloves, peeled (chopped is fine)
  • 2 Tbs fine sea salt, divided
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs. butter + 1 Tbs olive oil

In the morning before work (or before you go to bed at night…)

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and mix.

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When hot, add the carrots, onions, and celery. Saute until carrots are just starting to brown, and then add garlic cloves, and salt. Continue to saute, tossing often, until all veggies are golden. You can toss the roasted chicken thighs in as well, if you like, to add a little extra flavor to the rest.

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Transfer meat and veggies to a large crock-pot, add bay leaf, cover, and cook on high 8 hours.

Go to work, go to bed, go to the mall…whatever.

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Find this, and many more “use at home” professional cooking techniques and recipes in my new book, “The Home Chef!”    Available on Amazon.com

After 8 hours (carefully) pour the stock through a sieve to remove the solids. Spooning out the biggest pieces first, with a slotted spoon, can make this less messy. If you want an even clearer stock, you can do a second straining through cheesecloth.

Taste it now…”Meh”…right?

Here’s the secret…

Get out your largest skillet and heat it to high.

Carefully pour in a couple of inches of stock, and let it sizzle and boil, until reduced by at least half. Remove from heat, taste for salt (I usually add a little more salt, and some black pepper at this point.)

You stock is now ready to use! You can:

Cook with it immediately.

Pour it into a tall container and stick it in the fridge – in the morning you’ll have a thick layer of chicken fat or “schmaltz” on top. Skim this off and use it like you would butter.

It’s uh-mazing for cooking scrambled eggs!

If serving over chicken, try this… (before adding any additional salt!)

Roasted-Chicken-Piccata-add-parsley

Simple Lemon-Caper Pan Sauce

Leave one cup of stock in the skillet (still on high), add a healthy knob of butter, a few capers, a couple of slices of peeled lemon, and 1/4 cup of chopped parsley. Cook, stirring constantly, until reduced to a thickened sauce. Taste for seasoning, and drizzle over chicken. It’s so freakin’ good!

This stock is not only about a thousand times tastier than that tinny, nasty bullion-water that comes in the cans, it’s also MUCH healthier, as it’s not loaded with sodium and other preservative.

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I use this exact recipe for both my “Magical 12 Minute Chicken Piccata” and to cook the Garlic-Cilantro Rice that I serve with it.

(You can see me make this crazy-easy, and much healthier, Italian classic, in this clip from my recent appearance on AM Northwest.)

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

 

 

From “The Home Chef”: Butter Poached Garlic

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Click here to pick up The Home Chef, on Amazon.com

This is one of those little “Chef Secrets” that can elevate a great dish into the range of freakin’ amazing.

Slowly poaching the garlic cloves in butter adds an amazingly sweet, deep roasted-garlic flavor without the often accompanying hint of bitterness…and, of course, who doesn’t like garlic butter?

I use this technique with mashed potatoes (just add warmed heavy cream), in poultry stuffing, to toss with fresh green beans, asparagus, or wilted spinach, and it’s my go-to finishing ingredient to brush on steak or pork chops, just before serving, as well as a can’t-do-without addition to my favorite noodle soups. And it couldn’t be easier.

For four servings of…well, anything…

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Butter Poached Garlic
1 cube Sweet Cream Butter
10-12 fresh whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

In a small pan, melt butter over medium low heat.

Add garlic and salt, and poach for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.

When a fork or knife can pierce the garlic with absolutely no resistance, it’s done. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add garlic and butter to a blender, or use an immersion blender or even a fork to mash and mix the garlic together into a smooth slurry.

OR, allow to cool slightly and store the whole garlic cloves, covered in butter.

Use immediately, or cover, store and chill for up to a week in the fridge.

Garlic is divine.

Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago and garlic that has been tragically smashed through one of those abominations, the garlic press, are all disgusting.

Please treat your garlic with respect. Sliver it for pasta, like you saw in Goodfellas; don’t burn it. Smash it, with the flat of your knife blade if you like, but don’t put it through a press.

I don’t know what that junk is that squeezes out the end of those things, but it ain’t garlic.

And try roasting garlic. It gets mellower and sweeter if you roast it whole, still on the clove, to be squeezed out later when it’s soft and brown.

Nothing will permeate your food more irrevocably and irreparably than burnt or rancid garlic.

Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screw-top jars.

Too lazy to peel fresh?

You don’t deserve to eat garlic.

~ Anthony Bourdain

C’mon Amazon.com: Help a parent out!

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So, this post is a little off-topic, but I’ll try to make it as relevant as I can.

Just got an iPad mini for my daughter and, after loading the Amazon Video app, discovered there is no way to organize purchased movies by category (mine vs. hers) or even by descriptive folders.

This is crazy!

I have a LOT of movies, many of them are PG-13 or R Rated, and I don’t want her scrolling through those, just to find the ones I buy for her! (and I buy her a LOT of movies, because she has me wrapped around her little finger…)

Since foodie-friendly movies often have scenes that “sizzle” (and I don’t mean on the grill), as well as include the native language of the kitchen, this is unacceptable to me.

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The last thing I want my daughter shouting in the middle of the grocery store is, “IT WAS f****** MOLTEN!” 😉

Nor do I want her mother to beat me to death with a bag of frozen peas.

(see…relevant!)

I read a thread on the Amazon Forum, which started on Aug 23, 2015, titled, “organizing video library” where dozens of paying customers have asked for this feature, and yet after almost 2 years there has not been a single response from Amazon!

C’mon guys!

This irked me…and I don’t like to be irked. Being a chef, you can probably guess that I don’t do “irked” well.

Now, I love Amazon, and it’s my #1 movie and TV show source of choice (I’m a long-time Prime member), but I know how business works. Profit = priority, lol, so in that light, I sent a message to the Bezoites, letting them know that I am (much to my disappointment) boycotting movie and television purchases from Amazon until this issue has been addressed, nor will I re-up my Prime Membership.

Drastic times call for drastic measure, and all that.

The point of all this personal angst, here on my ChefPerry page, is that I will be posting the link to this message on various related boards in hopes that other will send Amazon the same message (below) from their own accounts, and share it with others.

That’s right…I’m starting a “movement”…protests and rioting coming soon!

I feel so Micheal Moore! (but I’m hoping the nausea will pass before dinnertime…)

Anyhoo…here’s the text of my message to Amazon.com, along with screen shots to help folks post it.

TEXT:

(Note: this text has been edited to fit the word-count limits in Amazon’s message feature. If you add anything, it might not fit. Definitely feel free to personalize it, tho!)

Amazon.com: Help a parent out!

Hey guys,

Just got an iPad for my daughter and, after loading the Amazon Video app, discovered there is no way to organize purchased movies by category (Mine vs. hers) or by folder. This is crazy! I have a LOT of movies, many of them are PG-13 or R Rated, and I don’t want her scrolling through those, just to find the ones I buy for her.

I read a thread on the Amazon Forum, which started on Aug 23, 2015, titled, “organizing video library” where dozens of paying customers have asked for this, and yet after almost 2 years there has not been a single response from Amazon!

C’mon guys!

I love Amazon, and you’re my #1 movie and TV show of source (I’m a long-time Prime member), but I know how business works. Profit = priority, lol, so in that light, I am (much to my disappointment) boycotting all movie and television purchases from Amazon until this issue has been addressed, nor will I re-up my Prime Membership.

Please don’t make me do that! 😉

Your fan,

-Perry

HOW TO SEND THIS MESSAGE

1.

Amazon2
Open your Amazon account page, scroll down to the bottom, and click on “Contact Us”
Amazon3
Choose “Digital Services”, then select “Amazon Video”, “How-to Questions”, and paste in the title of the message.
Amazon4
Copy and Paste the message I posted above (or your own!), and click “Send E-Mail”
Amazon5
If your feedback went through, you’ll see this message!

C’mon America…

Let’s make Amazon Video great again!

(Don’t make me make a whiny movie…)

~Chef Perry

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Notes from the Hipster Coast

mozzarella-stuffed-meatball-pasta-2Had someone question the “authenticity and integrity” of a recipe I posted a few days ago. (This is this week’s “issue to be outraged about”, here on the Hipster Coast…)

First of all…go find a girlfriend, dude. Get a pen-pal, join the chess club, something…it’s just food!

Second, I can’t help but wonder if he eats cheese or sour cream on his tacos, meatballs with his spaghetti, or anything on his pizza but cheese and sauce?

Has he ever had a “California Roll” or General Tsao Chicken?

It’s amazing how much some people think they know, lol.

Okay, muzzling the snark box…

~Chef Perry

 

Tips for Perfect BBQ Chicken (Video)

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs Recipe
Click image for Video

Video Text:

Hey, this is Chef Perry, thanks for joining me!

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs RecipeToday we’re gonna talk GRILLING. Specifically, some of my favorite tips for grilling chicken. Now, while boneless-skinless chicken breasts are the current darling of the American grill, I almost always opt for thighs instead.

They have more flavor, and are more forgiving than breasts, as they don’t dry out nearly as quickly.

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs RecipeTip One: I always brine my chicken for a couple of hours in a simple salt & sugar brine. This adds some flavor, and helps the chicken to retain a lot of moisture.

Tip 2: With chicken, whether it’s boneless thighs, or whole drumsticks, I prefer to dip instead of brush, so I have a bowl of my favorite sauce right next to the grill.

First off, we’re going to get a 2 zone fire going under our grill (see link below). You can do the same thing with a gas grill, by turning one side on HIGH and the other side on LOW (or the outside burners on HIGH and the middle to LOW.)

Brush the thighs with a little oil, and place them on the hot side of the grill. If you brined them, don’t add any salt.

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs RecipeOnce they have a little char on both sides, dip each thigh into your sauce bowl, making sure to coat both sides evenly. Place the sauced thighs on the LOW side of the grill, to help set the first layer of glaze.

After a minute or two, flip them over. Once the glaze has set on both sides, dip them again. For a thick sauce, like this one, you probably only need to dip them twice.

For thinner sauces it might take 3 or 4 dips to get a really good glaze.

Put them back on the LOW side, and repeat as needed. If you like a little more char on your chicken, flip the chicken quickly back onto the hot side, just before they’re done. Be careful, most sauces have a lot of sugar, and a “little char” can quickly become a burnt mess.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich on Pretzel BunMy favorite way to serve these thighs is on a toasted pretzel bun with some homemade sesame-cilantro slaw (recipe below).

So, there you go. Any questions? Post them below, or use the contact form!

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A Steak & Potatoes Father’s Day

Skillet seared rib steaks with spinach404979_384433684914425_1375304008_n

If you know me at all, you know that being a chef is the great joy of my life. But, truth be told, it’s actually the third great joy. The two things that makes life worth living, for me, are being a husband, and being a father.

Cooking and writing are a close third, and fourth.

I’ve opted out of restaurant work because it’s hard to be the kind of family man I want to be, working that lifestyle. It can be done, and there are a LOT of great chefs out there who are amazing dads, I just didn’t want to risk not being one of them.

Father’s day is a big deal for me.

After we struggled with infertility for more than a decade, the first father’s day I celebrated with my baby girl was one of the best days of my life, and I continue to look forward to the homemade cards, and favorite breakfast (which is whatever “The Pickle” chooses to cook for me), and adding a ball-cap to my “Best Dad” collection. I look forward to it all year long!

Father’s Day, a customary day for the celebration of fatherhood in Catholic Europe, is known to date back to at least the Middle Ages, and it is observed on March 19th, as the feast day of Saint Joseph. The celebration was brought to the Americans by the Spanish and Portuguese, and in Latin America, Father’s Day is still celebrated on March 19th.

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William Jackson Smart (1842-1919) set the bar mighty high as far as Dads go.

Father’s Day was not celebrated in the US, outside Catholic traditions, until the 20th century. As a civic celebration in the US, it was inaugurated in the early 20th century to complement Mother’s Day by celebrating fathers and male parenting.

The Founding Father (and daughter) of Father’s Day

On June 19, 1910, a Father’s Day celebration was held at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father, the civil war veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak at a Father’s Day celebration.

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Here’s my favorite “dad dinner” to put me in a food coma in front of the TV…

The Menu

  • Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Perfect Pan Seared Steaks
  • Baked Chili Sweet Potatoes
  • Sauteed Fresh Spinach with Lemon & Garlic

Click HERE for the Print-Friendly Version of these Recipes

Seared rib steak

A rib steak is a beef steak sliced from the rib primal of a beef animal, with rib bone attached. In the United States, the term rib-eye steak is used for a rib steak with the bone removed; however in some areas, and outside the U.S., the terms are often used interchangeably.

The term “cowboy ribeye” or “cowboy cut” is often used in American restaurants for a bone-in rib eye. The rib eye or “ribeye” was originally, as the name implies, the center best portion of the rib steak, without the bone. In Australia, “ribeye” is used when this cut is served with the bone in. With the bone removed, it is called “Scotch fillet”.

rib steaks

It is both flavorful and tender, coming from the lightly worked upper rib cage area. Its marbling of fat makes it very good for fast and hot cooking.

First and of foremost importance to searing the perfect skillet steak is the skillet.

You need a large, well-seasoned, cast iron skillet (12-16 inch, a similar sized dutch oven will work in a pinch). If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, go buy one. If you’re not willing to buy one, stop reading now, you can’t make this recipe.

Perfect Skillet-Seared Rib Steak

Perfect Skillet-Seared Rib Steak Dinner
2 bone-in rib steaks, at least 1 1/2-inches thick, about 1 pound each
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grape-seed oil
1/2 cup butter
8-10 cloves of whole peeled garlic
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dry Sherry

Pre-heat oven to 300F.

Perfect Skillet-Seared Rib Steak

Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 40 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until heavily smoking. Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper, add steaks, onions, and garlic to the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, flipping just once.

Perfect Skillet-Seared Rib Steak

Remove steaks to a pre-warmed baking dish and place in preheated oven. Leave onions and garlic in the skillet, add parsley.

If dad is more a a “filet” kinda guy, blow his mind with this Filet Mignon with Garlic Mushroom Cream Sauce!

Reduce the heat under the pan to medium, and let cool slightly (add a little more oil if necessary).

Sauteing garlic and onion

Add sherry and butter and saute, stirring and scarping up any browned bits left from the meat, simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Replace steaks to the skillet and flip to coat evenly.

Sauteing garlic and onion

Move steaks and sauce to a warm baking dish and place in the oven to finish (do NOT wipe the skillet clean!)

Move steaks and sauce to a warm baking dish and place in the oven to finish (do NOT wipe the skillet clean!)

Cook to an internal temp of 130F. Remove steaks from oven and spoon with pan sauce. Tent loosely with foil. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, cook spinach in skillet (see below.)

Baked sweet potatoes with chili butter

Baked Chili Sweet Potatoes
(Cook before the steaks, finish right before serving)

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tsp. Mexican chili powder
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Baked sweet potatoes

Cook
Preheat oven to 400°F.

With a sharp knife, slash sweet potato skin 4-5 times.

Place in pre-heated oven and bake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Baked sweet potatoes

Finish
Slice each potato open, lengthwise, and squeeze gently from the ends to create a pocket.

Using a fork, fluff and mix up the internal part of the potatoes with salt & pepper.

Baked sweet potatoes with chili butter

Place 1 Tbs. butter into each pocket, and sprinkle with salt and chili powder. Set aside and allow butter to melt before serving.

If you want to save a little oven time, you can “bake” your potatoes in the crockpot, and have them ready to serve at dinner time…or opt for creamy mashed potatoes, if bakers aren’t Dad’s cup of tea.

Sauteed spinach with lemon and almonds

Sauteed Fresh Spinach

  • 2 Tb. butter
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2lbs fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

THIS is the reason (and the only reason) we didn’t finish our steaks in the skillet.

Over medium heat, add butter and garlic, cooking briefly, then add all spinach to the skillet and toss frequently until starting to reduce.

Sprinkle all with fresh lemon juice, toss again, sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Skillet Rib Steaks with garlic and onions

Plate all, spoon additional pan sauce over the steaks, and serve.

bacon-parmesan-stuffed-mushrooms-1-4Want to add a CRAZY good appetizer that Dad won’t soon forget?

Whip up a batch of my bacon-stuffed mushrooms, from the upcoming Home Chef Guidebook, “Bacon!”

Check back tomorrow for the step-by-step recipe!

Better than any tie…ever.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

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On Recipes

Reminder

Sometimes, when someone gets especially snarky about a vague direction or ingredient amount, or complains about not having enough “step by step” pictures in my recipes, I smile and think about this little book.

This belonged to my dad, Chef Frank Perkins (and he probably got it from HIS dad, who was also a chef.)

He just called it “The Reminder” (copyright 1909) and it was the only “cookbook” he owned. He kept it in his knife roll, and it went everywhere he cooked. He gave it to me when he retired.

IMG_6030As you can see, there are no pictures, no measurements, just brief descriptions of the elements of finished dishes. Got a chicken in the freezer? The book “reminds” you of the various dishes you can make…and assumes that you know how.

I learned to cook many, many dishes out of this little book.

So, if I don’t seem to get my knickers in a twist every time someone gets all uppity about my usage of  vague terms like “a pinch”, “a handful”, or “a little bit more”….you might understand, lol.

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com