I stayed home from work today, because Pusser is in California and because I wanted to. Woke up at 1pm, a beautiful sunny afternoon, and I decided that today was the day I’d make chicken stock and bread pudding. (Yes, I do wait for divine inspiration when planning dinner… so what)
After consulting my new cookbook, I headed out to Whole Foods to procure the necessary ingredients. It was, by this time, 2pm.
So I buy my shit, get home, start the bread pudding, and while that’s soaking I try and decide how to deal with the chicken. Throw peanut oil in the big Le Creuset to brown the meat. Read cookbook. Open Kombucha. Read more cookbook. Decide not to brown meat. Big Le Creuset goes back on top of the fridge.
That’s one enormous pot that I have to wash.
14 cups of water, 1 whole chicken, celery, carrot, bay leaf and onion go into my OTHER enormous pot. Mark Bittman says that this whole deal should take like 20 minutes or whatever, so I transcribe one of the files from our last shoot (about half an hour’s work), return to the stove… and that shit is barely warm.
Five transcripts later, the stock has finally come to a boil. Excitement! I commence following the wrong set of directions re: simmering / covering / skimming fat etc. Oops. Rectify the problem, type out one more file, remove solids, dig cheesecloth out of bottom drawer (for straining, I guess? How does one “strain” a liquid??), and transfer super-hot fat broth to the small Le Creuscet. Huge stockpot 2 joins the big Le Creuscet in the “dirty” pile.
Bake bread pudding. Huge-ass mixing bowl goes in “dirty” pile.
The point of all this stock-making was a chicken-rice soup, so Katsu gets home (by this point, it’s after eight) and we make rice. Another pot.
And of course I have WAY too much broth, and Mark Bittman says that you can freeze the chicken stock in ice cube trays for easy use later, and I still trust him even though he lied about how “quick” this “quick chicken stock” recipe might be. Boil down the rest of the stock, transfer it (through cheesecloth) to a measuring cup, spill half of it on floor, pour 3 IKEA ice trays past the overflow point, and maneuver the whole mess into the freezer.
I stop, take a sip of wine, and look around. There’s a plate of chicken parts on top of the washing machine, rice boiling over on the stove, the big Le Creuscet is filling up the kitchen with peanut-oil stink, the other big stockpot rests uneasily in the sink, balanced as it is, on the handle of a wooden spoon and the lower curve of the huge-ass mixing bowl. My fridge is dripping with stock-based fat globules which, I notice, also trail from the counter to the door, and over-boiled baby carrots and onion flaps and celery chunks are scattered across the countertop. Inexplicably, there’s a bag of frozen peaches in my dish rack. (I guess I was going to make some kind of fruit sauce for the bread pudding, but like seriously, FUCK THAT.)
This chicken broth better be fucking awesome, because it’ll take me a week to sort through the wreckage.