An Ode to Mrs. Patmore
“Anyone who has use of their limbs can make a salmon mousse.” – Mrs. Patmore, Downton Abbey
Preach! Leave it to my favorite cook to provide this week’s inspiration. Delivered with a shrug and an eyeroll – it's perfection! She is simply scrumptious.
In truth, I’m scared of the mousse but the sentiment is dead on. It is exactly how I feel about chicken stock. There are few things that I will ask you to do – I know you have enough of that everyday. But, please do this. (At least I said please!)
Before you clean up from Tuesday’s roast chicken, throw the leftover thyme in a pot and place it on the back burner. Throw in a carrot, leek/onion, a bay leaf, peppercorns and celery (if you have it). No need to peel these, just a few chops and into the pot. After dinner, throw the bones from the chicken in the pot, cover with 8-10 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour. Strain. You’re done. Really. Now you can add noodles, veggies, shredded chicken, or any grains - you've made another dinner - well done.
A few tips:
1)Do not salt the stock. It intensifies and can really mess with your next recipe.
2)For a more intense stock, return strained stock to the pot and simmer for another hour.
3) Whether you store your stock in the fridge or freezer, measure out and mark with the amount per vessel (EX: 2 cups, 16 oz.). You will be really glad you did this.
So, as I have to wait what seems an eternity to see Mrs. Patmore again, I’ll be channeling her here in my kitchen. And, while its no salmon mousse, my stock is just as sublime. Until next season Friend…