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On Funnel Farming and Hearty Stock

Fast food isn’t about food. Fast food is about funneling food en masse to folks who believe they are too preoccupied or too incompetent to cook for themselves. A person who identifies either as a reason for not utilizing their kitchen has their priorities or brain out of balance. Why else would one entertain fast food. Convenience? Lazy git.

Lazy Git
Lazy Git

Forgive me: In our society it should be mandatory for every student to study Home Economics. We have a responsibility to every young person in this country to ensure they all have an opportunity to exit high school with a clear and basic understanding of meal preparation, land stewardship and conservancy, personal health care and hygiene, personal income tax preparation and respect for their elders.

Where were we? McFake fast food. Today, Big Agra has become so proficient as funnelers of food that the fast food industry exists more for stock holders desirous of dividends than anything resembling stewardship. Funnel farming operates with little regard for the health and well being of the farmer or the land.

There is a solution. Get to now your kitchen. We can think of no better way to begin in the kitchen than the ability to prepare yourself a wonderful stock. Something as simple as boiling down roasted chicken bones to yield a nutrient packed stock for soup, gravy or sauce will make your life better. Its true. Life is just better when a hearty stock in is in the picture.

Hearty Chicken Stock
Hearty Chicken Stock

Your homemade stock is the beginning of slowing down the Food Funnel effect which is a good thing.

We favour chicken stock that incorporates an Asian flair. Here is how its done in farmersdotter’s kitchen:

Basic Hearty Chicken Soup Stock:

Yield: 6-8 litres

What you’ll need:

8-10 litres water

3-4 pound organic free-range chicken with the nasty bits

2 large onion peeled and cut in half

4-6 carrots pealed and roughly chopped

8-10 celery stalk roughly chopped

7 large cloves of garlic

salt & pepper to taste

For an Occasion Make It Asian and Add: 

3 ounces sliced fresh ginger

2 whole star anise

6-8 cloves

1 ounce cinnamon stick

3 ounces light brown sugar

2 tablespoons fish or oyster sauce

1 bunch of cilantro

What you’ll want to do:

1: If you have cooked your chicken remove meat from the chicken bones, and set aside for later use in soup. If not, you can place your chicken pieces into the pot and remove the poached meat later. Regardless, place the bones, basic ingredients, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer. Cover and continue to simmer for up to 12-18 hours. Check the water level and periodically add water to ensure bones are covered in liquid.

Make Mine Asian:

Simply add the Asian Ingredients to the basic process. To further enhance the experience try to put a light char on the vegetables. Either quickly fry or roast vegetables on high heat. Better still, and loads more fun, place cut vegetables on a foil lined cookie tray and scorch the exposed flesh with the open flame from a crème brûlée torch. In addition it is always a good idea to toast spices immediately prior to use. You can accomplish this in a hot, dry, non-stick fry pan but mind you don’t over do this step. Burnt spice is not desirable.

2: After your stock has simmered and developed intense aroma and colour let it cool. Strain your stock into a large container and chill. Fat will rise and congeal on the top. As much as we like all things fat it is important to skim the fat from the top and discard. It has served its purpose and any healthy fats are exhausted. Keep stock refrigerated until use. Simply ladle out your stock and reheat with noodles and chicken or tofu. Top with scallion, crushed chilli and lime. Voila, instant pho ga.

Served with a healthy dish of broccoli sauteed with ginger, garlic and oyster sauce you have a quick wonderful meal made from your hearty stock.

Pho Ga
Pho Ga

farmersdotter loves to visit Marc Matsumoto’s No Recipes for inspiration. His blog will instill confidence and the technique you need to cook well and cook often. Cheers!