Not long after we moved into our apartment (it’s called a condo in Singapore, but I find it hard to call it that) I attempted a home made, Singaporean specialty of chicken rice. It wasn’t bad for a first attempt and I plan on refining it and making it again for you. The best part about my first attempt, was that I had an abundance of tasty chicken stock leftover. Over the next few weeks, I used it in various dishes and I was surprised at how good it was to have home made stock on hand. I’d never tried making stock before, I thought it would be too time consuming and all that skimming seemed annoying, but I thought I’d have a go at making some more once the batch ran out.
I’d read about Heston Blumenthal using a pressure cooker to make stocks and sauces. He claims that it keeps all the flavour in the stock as opposed to evaporating out of a sauce pan, resulting in a rich and flavourful stock. I love his word heavy cook books and his crazy cooking antics, but his basic chicken stock recipe from ‘Heston Blumenthal at Home’ was pretty full on. It calls for boiling the chicken wings before they go into the pressure cooker and letting the pressure cooker cool twice completely, during the process. If you’ve ever used a pressure cooker before, you can imagine how long it takes the super hot, pressurised contents to cool completely.
I wanted something simple but full of flavour so I adapted Heston’s recipe and I was very pleased with the results. I still followed his method of letting the pressure cooker cool, but only slightly and only once at the end of the cooking time. This recipe still does take some time but it really is very simple and results in a very gelatinous and richly flavoured stock. I now happily have fresh stock in my fridge and more frozen for when that runs out.
I only had to skim the broth once after the first pressure cook. As you can see in the middle photo above, there isn’t much scum. I just put a paper towel on top to soak it up then discarded it. The last photo above shows how it looked after this one time skimming.
I chose the wrong supermarket to get my ingredients from and I could only get teeny tiny leeks and massive mushrooms. I’m glad I used this mushroom though as I feel as though it gave the stock a really meaty flavour. It was marked as an Oyster mushroom but that didn’t seem quite right to me. I’ve since done some research and found that it can be known as a variety of names including a King Trumpet, a French Horn and a King Oyster. If you can’t get this type of mushroom, button mushrooms will still do the trick.
Can you tell I am a fan of onion skin? There is just so much flavour in it so I always leave some on the chopped onion if I’m going to discard it after cooking anyway. This picture shows how roughly I chopped the veggies. You really don’t need to worry about chopping them into small pieces.
Ok, so it’s kind of hard to give you a sexy final picture of chicken stock, but you get the idea. This shows how it looks after cooling in the pressure cooker for 2 hours. It freezes well and lasts in the fridge in a sealed container for approximately a week due to it’s high gelatine content. You might want to use it to make a delicious minestrone from scratch or my Chicken Meatball Soup with Spinach and Egg Ribbons.
Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock
Ingredients – Makes 4 Litres of stock
- 1 kg mixed raw chicken bones and wings. I used a mixture of chicken wings and some spines that I had saved in the freezer from making a couple of spatchcock roast chickens.
- 1 brown onion, roughly chopped and skin left on
- 1 carrot roughly chopped, no need to peel it
- 1 leek (or 2 small in my case) green part only, roughly chopped and rinsed if need be
- 1 large king oyster mushroom, or 4 small button mushrooms, roughly chopped
- ½ bunch of parsley, stalks only, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
- 1tsp whole peppercorns
- 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
- 1 dried bay leaf
- Add chicken to pressure cooker with 4L of water. Bring up to pressure, then cook for 45 minutes.
- Manually release the pressure, then remove the lid and skim off any scum with a paper towel.
- Add the rest of the ingredients then replace the lid, bring up to pressure again and cook for a further 30 minutes.
- Once 30 minutes has elapsed, let the pressure release by itself and start to cool in the cooker for at least an hour, 2 if you have time. To do this with my pressure cooker, I simply leave the lid on after cooking and turn off the power.
- Before removing the lid, release any pressure that is left. There was very little left in mine after 2 hours.
- Strain off the solids through a colander lined with muslin or a clean tea towel and discard.
- Place the stock into suitable containers with lids and let cool overnight in the fridge. The next day, skim off any fat that has set on the surface. You can now freeze any portion that you want to, simply defrost in the fridge or microwave when you need to use it. No salt is added but this gives you freedom to season as you wish when you are cooking with the stock.