10 November, 2006

Chicken Stock

I'm making chicken stock. I'm typing this sitting at the little kitchen table watching to make sure it doesn't boil over too badly. The pot's way too small to make stock in, and the electric stove regulates its heat by turning on and off, so it definitely boils over a little, but I'm here to make sure it's no worse than necessary.

I have not been able to find any form of gluten-free chicken stock here. There are bouillon cubes, but those don't cut it, and I haven't been able to find any sort of canned or boxed stock, let alone gluten-free. And I've gotten tired of reading recipes that call for stock of some kind and not being able to try them out. And it's really soup weather now.

So today I went over to Saint-Claire-Les-Halles, which is a combination morning farmers' market and permanent installation. Outside in the mornings there's fresh produce, and inside all day long there are butchers and dairy people and the suchlike. This happens every day except Monday, and the produce is half the price and twice the quality of what you can find in the stores. Yesterday I passed the market on my way to class, as they were packing up, and saw a flat of pears. Having not eaten all day, I promptly hopped off the tram and asked the man who was cleaning up if he had any pears that were ready to eat. He picked three out for me, kissed me on both cheeks, and told me they were a gift. They were wonderful pears.

The last time I went inside it was to buy escalope de dinde, which rougly translates to turkey steaks. I have a recipe for chicken stock that calls for a chicken with head and feet, and I noticed him cutting off the head and feet of a chicken for a customer. I figured that maybe he'd be willing to sell me a chicken with the head and feet still attached, so today when I decided to make stock I went over and asked. He said, "You want to prepare it yourself? For an exam or something?" I said no, it was just for me, and he kind of looked at me funny, but he was very nice and took out the innards and wrapped it up all pretty and sold it to me. And now I'm making chicken stock. It's supposed to simmer for four hours, but already at one hour it tastes wonderful. I'm really looking forward to making soup with it.


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