Liquid Gold Slow Cooker Stock: Domestic Goddessicity with Virtually Zero Effort

Stock or bone broth is all the rage, dontchaknow.  Everyone’s talking about it.  You can get tote bags that say ‘Boil your bones’ to carry around the Farmers Market.

I never used to think it was worth it.  All that standing over a hot stove, skimming off scum.  Not able to leave the house.

And then I discovered the slow cooker method.  And it CHANGED MY LIFE.  Now I have a freezer fully stocked with the stuff, ready to whip up a risotto or sauce or soup made with MY OWN STOCK.  Like a veritable domestic goddess.

And it takes less than half an hour of actual work.

So next time you make a Boursin Roast Chicken, why not save the bones and make this? Soon you can have a freezer stocked with liquid gold too.  And feel like a domestic goddess.

I usually pop the stock on after a Sunday lunch to give it a good 4 hours or so on high power, then turn it down to low when I go to bed and leave it on low until I get back from work the following day.  That gives it about 20 hrs in the slow cooker.  I think it needs a good 12 hours in total, and I am of a view that the longer you cook it the better the stock, but if you’re time limited just cook it overnight.

stock

 

makes about 1.6 litres of stock.

  • A roast chicken carcass, stripped of all its meat (save that for any number of left over chicken recipes.) (Any really dry or chewy looking bits of meat can go in the stock for extra flavour)
  • One white onion, skin left on for colour, halved.
  • 1-2 sticks of celery, rinsed of any grit.
  • 1-2 carrots, scrubbed but not peeled.
  • 2 litres cold water (or as much as you can get in the slow cooker)

Nice additions, but by no means essential:

  • other left over veggies (leek tops, cabbage – NOT potatoes.)
  • Parsley sprigs
  • a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.  (The Hemsley sisters claim that this helps to break down the bones so it releases their flavour and goodness better.  I have absolutely no idea if this is actually the case, but it doesn’t effect the taste of the stock and the Hemsley’s are absolutely beautiful, so it clearly isn’t doing them any harm…)
  • 6 pepper corns.
  • 3-4 raw garlic cloves.
  • 2-3 bay leaves.

Method:

  • Put all of the above in your slow cooker. Put the lid on the slow cooker.
  • Turn the slow cooker on high for about 4 hours.
  • Turn it down low for a further 8 – 16 hrs, depending on how long you have and what your schedule is like.
  • Once you have decided your stock has had sufficient time, turn the slow cooker off and let the straining begin!
  • I use a ladle and pour the stock through a sieve into a big mixing bowl, squidging the bones and veg in the sieve with the ladle to get all the liquid out.
  • I usually strain it again through a sieve into a measuring jug.
  • Pour into freezer bags.  (I usually portion out 500 mls per bag as this seems to be about right for most recipes.
  • HANDY HINT FOR FILLING FREEZER BAGS WITH HOT LIQUID:  stand the freezer bag up in a pint glass, folding the sides over the rim of the glass.
  • Leave the stock to cool and then lie it flat in the freezer (takes up less space that way.
  • When I need the stock I either take it out a few hours before hand and leave it to defrost, or cut away the freezer bag and put the giant stock ice cube in a sauce pan and defrost over a low heat.
  • Now you’re a domestic goddess. Well done.

 

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The step-by-step guide to making a Roast Chicken Dinner to Impress Your Mum and still have time to put on some make up and hoover the flat…

So I was going to post all of these with photos.  But it seems my SD card is corrupted…GAH!…I’m just posting the recipes for now and am setting about either rescuing the SD card, or just cooking everything again to photograph it.  So watch this space. 

So this post does not contain any new recipes.

It is, if you will, a synoptic that gives timings for how you would put together all the various elements of the Roast Chicken to Impress Your Mum series so that you can really impress her.

A lot of people (The Boy, I’m looking at you) find that timing things is the most stressful part of cooking, and with so many elements in an impressive roast, that is a valid concern. But fear not.  I’ve done it all for you.

The following is based on a roast made with a 2kg chicken and eaten at roughly 2pm  and gives you time to pop a bit of make up on and send your beloved running around the flat with a hoover and a duster.  Of course if you want to eat at a different time just add or subtract the timings accordingly.  (So if you’re eating at 1pm subtract an hour from each time.  If you want to eat at 3pm, add an hour.  You’re not an idiot.  You don’t really need me to tell you that.)

The roast includes the following recipes (with links to their stand-alone page):

Boursin Roast Chicken

Beaumont’s Signature Roast Potatoes

Thyme and time Roast Carrots and Onions

Barely-needs-a-recipe Leek Confit

Courgettes with Lemon and Chilli

 

SO! On y vas!

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • One chicken, free range, 2kg
  • One lump of Boursin cheese (or half a tub of Garlic and Herb cream cheese)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A lemon

For the Carrots and Onions:

  • 4 good sized carrots
  • 3 white onions
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the Courgettes:

  • 2 courgettes
  • Olive oil
  • Two cloves of garlic, crushed.
  • A good shake of chilli flakes
  • 3-4 tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters depending on size (optional)
  • Half a lemon
  • Salt

For the Potatoes:

  • 1kg new potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley, a handful

For the Leek Confit:

  • 3 big leeks or 4 smaller ones (not baby leeks though, obvs)
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

 

Method:

To eat at 2pm:

10:30 Take the chicken out the fridge.

11:00 The chicken:

  • Snip the string holding the chicken‘s legs together and unhook her legs.
  • Pop half a lemon in the cavity.
  •  Now for the stuffing.  Take off your rings, unless you want your diamonds encrusted with Boursin or raw chicken. Trust me.  Gently prise the skin from the chicken’s breast, starting at the neck end.  You may need to use a sharp knife to snip the membrane slightly.  Make sure you can slide your hand all the way to the other end.
  • Take about a sixth if the lump of Boursin in you hand and slide it between the skin and the breast,  getting it as far down towards the end as you can.
  • Keep adding the cheese until you’ve used it all, or you can’t possibly get any more in.  It’s not the nicest sensation ever, but it’s worth it.  Trust.
  •  Once it’s all in, smooth it out by sliding your hand over the skin, towards the legs, to really smooth the cheese into the end if the breast.
  • Drizzle the top of the breast and legs in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and give it all a good rub in.
  • Pop in a roasting tray and preheat your oven to 200’C ready to put her in at 12:00.

11:30 Leeks:

  • Run your leeks under the tap to ensure there’s not grit left on them.
  • Slice the end off each leek and then slice the white and light green bits as thinly as you can. Save the dark green tops for stock.
  • Melt the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When melted add your leeks to the pan and give them a good stir until they are all covered in the butter and oil. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Turn the heat right down and cook the leeks for around 45 mins, stirring frequently to stop them sticking or colouring too much.

When the leeks are done (12:20), turn off the heat, ready to reheat later.

11:45 Courgettes: (your leeks will still be cooking, but will only need minimal stirring now, so you can totally do this simultaneously.)

  • Slice your courgettes lengthways, and then on a diagonal slice them into 5mm thick slices
  • Heat a good slug of oil in a pan on a medium high heat.
  • Add your courgettes, garlic, salt and shake of chilli flakes to the pan.
  • Cook them on a medium high heat to give them some colour and then turn down the heat a little to soften the courgettes.  This takes about 20 mins.
  • If you’re adding tomatoes add them now, stir through and heat gently until they soften.
  • Once you have reached this stage, squeeze in half the juice of a lemon, stir then turn off the heat and leave to one side to reheat later at the same time as your leeks.

 

12:00 Put your stuffed chicken in the oven at 200’C.  

 

12:20 Turn the oven down to 180’C, the leeks and courgettes should be cooked by now, so turn off the heat.  We’ll reheat them later.

12:40 Potatoes

Pour about 3 tablespoons of oil into the roasting tray that you will cook them in.  Put the tray in the oven to get the oil nice and hot.

12:45 Meanwhile have a little look at your potatoes. You’ll want them all to be roughly the same size, so you may need to cut some of the bigger ones in half. Do not peel your spuds.

  • Pop them in a large pan with a good sprinkle of salt and pour over the kettle of boiling water.
  • Whack a lid on your pan and bring to the boil for 5 mins max.
  • After 5 mins drain your spuds.  You will be putting them in the hot oil in the oven in a few minutes.

12:50 Carrots and onions

  • Cut your carrots into batons: halve each carrot both vertically and horizontally. Cut each chunk into about three or four batons.
  • Peel your onions and cut each onion into six, keeping the layers of each segment as best as you can.
  • Arrange your carrots and onions on a baking tray. Drizzle over a good glug of oil. Squiggle your veg around on the tray to help coat it in the oil.
  • Sprinkle over some thyme and season with salt and pepper.

13:00 Put your carrots and onions in the oven, towards the bottom.

Take the tray with the hot oil in out of the oven and put in your spuds.  Give it a gentle shake to coat all the potatoes in the oil.  Whack straight back in the oven.  They need about an hour. You are going to throw in 4 cloves of garlic about 20 mins before the end.

13:05 There’s about 35 mins of down time here, where you don’t have to do anything, except maybe keep an eye on the bits in the oven.  This is when to put your make up on and run around cleaning the flat and setting the table.

13:40 Take your chicken out the and test for doneness by pricking the thigh and checking that the juices run clear (by clear we mean no sign on blood, no red, no pink).

Put the chicken on a plate and cover with foil.

13:42 (after taking chicken out) pop your garlic cloves in with the potatoes and give the tray a good shake to redistribute.

13:55 Ask someone to carve the chicken (or do it yourself if you feel confident to do it whilst reheating your other bits) and pop the slices on a plate.  Take the plate to the table.

13:57 Reheat your courgettes and leeks on a medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes.  You might want to take a few spoonfuls of the chicken juice out of the chicken roasting pan and add them to the leeks.  When warmed through, transfer them to attractive bowls (or ugly ones, there are no rules) and take them to the table.

14:00 Take the potatoes and carrots and onions out the oven. Pop them in an attractive bowl.  Garnish your spuds with sea salt and parsley and take them to the table.

14:02 You’ve done it! Hurrah! Have a glass of wine.  Sit down at the table and just look at how impressed your mum is.  Eat.  I bet you’re hungry.

 

 

Boursin Roast Chicken

So I was going to post all of these with photos.  But it seems my SD card is corrupted…GAH!…I’m just posting the recipes for now and am setting about either rescuing the SD card, or just cooking everything again to photograph it.  So watch this space. 

The Boy and I had been living together for two years before I got round to making any semblance of a roast dinner.  I know, I know.  Poor show, Beaumont.

Being the fussy individual that I am, I wanted something that was a bit different.  Enter: The Boursin Roast Chicken.

The first time I made a roast for my mum it was this. And it impressed her. And as a result we have the Roast Chicken to Impress Your Mum series.

The idea is really simple – a lump of Boursin cheese stuffed between the skin and the breast of the chicken.  The effect is really lovely – the breast is moist and subtly flavoured by the garlic and herbs in the cheese.  But you still get a gloriously crispy skin that you can snaffle in secret whilst carving.

There’s hardly anything to it. And it looks and smells pretty amazing too.

Ingredients:
One chicken, free range – (this recipe is for a 2kg chicken, which will feed 6 people with leftovers.  For a bigger or smaller chicken just adjust the timings. The BBC Good Food website has a good calculator for this.)
One lump of Boursin cheese (or half a tub of Garlic and Herb cream cheese)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
A lemon

Method:
– Take the chicken out the fridge about an hour before you want to cook her.
– Preheat your oven to 200’C.
– Snip the string holding the chicken’s legs together and unhook her legs.
– Pop half a lemon in the cavity.
– Now for the stuffing.  Take off your rings, unless you want your diamonds encrusted with Boursin or raw chicken. Trust me.  Gently prise the skin from the chicken’s breast, starting at the neck end.  You may need to use a sharp knife to snip the membrane slightly.  Make sure you can slide your hand all the way to the other end.
– Take about a sixth if the lump of Boursin in you hand and slide it between the skin and the breast,  getting it as far down towards the end as you can.
– Keep adding the cheese until you’ve used it all, or you can’t possibly get any more in.  It’s not the nicest sensation ever, but it’s worth it.  Trust.
– Once it’s all in, smooth it out by sliding your hand over the skin, towards the legs, to really smooth the cheese into the end if the breast.
– Drizzle the top of the breast and legs in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and give it all a good rub in.
– Pop in a roasting tray and pop in the oven for 20mins at 200’C.
– After 20 mins turn the oven down to 180’C for 1hr20mins.
– Test the chicken for doneness by pricking the thick part of the thigh and checking that the juices run clear.
– Leave to rest for about 20 mins before carving (or in my case attempting to carve, failing, getting frustrated and then sort of hacking away at it.)
– Eat.

 

 

– Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3 or 4 days for scrummy chicken sandwiches or any number of leftover chicken recipes.
– Don’t forget to make stock with the bones.

Barely-requires-a-recipe Leek Confit

So I was going to post all of these with photos.  But it seems my SD card is corrupted…GAH!…I’m just posting the recipes for now and am setting about either rescuing the SD card, or just cooking everything again to photograph it.  So watch this space. 

This, as the title may suggest, is barely even a recipe, as this is pretty much as simple as it gets. But as with most things in food, if not in life in general,  the simplicity is phenomenonally satisfying.

These are leeks cooked ever so slowly in butter and oil to bring out the natural sweetness, seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper to create a ruch, flavourful, glorious accompaniment to just about any meal.

Do bear in mind though that this is a recipe that takes time.  You cannot rush a confit.

It forms part of the Roast Chicken to Impress Your Mum series. When I made it for my mum she asked for the recipe.  And here it is:

Serves 4-6, as an accompaniment
Ingredients:
3 big leeks or 4 smaller ones (not baby leeks though, obvs)
2 tbsps butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Optional: a drizzle of cream or a splash of chicken stock or roast chicken juices.

Method
– Run your leeks under the tap to ensure there’s not grit left on them.
– Slice the end off each leek and then slice the white and light green bits as thinly as you can. Save the dark green tops for stock.
– Melt the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When melted add your leeks to the pan and give them a good stir until they are all covered in the butter and oil. Season with a good pinch of
– Turn the heat right down and cook the leeks for around 45 mins, stirring frequently to stop them sticking or colouring too much.
– The leeks are done when they are soft and silky and have shrunk down considerably. Check your seasoning and prepared to add a little more salt and pepper.
– If adding stock or roast chicken juices do this just before the end to ‘loosen’ the confit and add a further savoury hit.
– If adding cream, take the leeks off the heat and leave to cool ever so slightly so the cream doesn’t split.  Stir the cream in, around a tablespoon and a half, slowly slowly.  The cream will add a further luxurious silkiness to the leeks.

Beaumont’s Signature Roast New Potatoes

So I was going to post all of these with photos.  But it seems my SD card is corrupted…GAH!…I’m just posting the recipes for now and am setting about either rescuing the SD card, or just cooking everything again to photograph it.  So watch this space. 

Roast potatoes are a fairly essential dish to have tucked in your culinary arsenal. They are also, at least when I make them, a sure fire way to seduce someone. So use this recipe to make yourself and someone else happy.

These are not your standard roasties. These are mine, so they’re obviously a bit different.  I use new potatoes as I love how they become a bit like baby jackets with crisp salty outsides and fluffy, joyful insides.

When I made these for my mum she called me a tart. In the nicest possible way.

Roast potatoes

 

Serves 5-6
Ingredients:
1kg new potatoes
4 cloves garlic
Sea salt
Olive oil
Parsley, a handful

Method:
– Preheat your oven to 180’C.
– Pop a kettle on to boil
– Put around 3 tbsp olive oil in a roasting tray and put in the oven so the oil gets nice and hot.
– Have a little look at your potatoes. You’ll want them all to be roughly the same size, so you may need to cut some of the bigger ones in half. Do not peel your spuds.
– Pop them in a large pan with a good sprinkle of salt and pour over the kettle of boiling water.
– whack a lid on your pan and bring to the boil for 5 mins max.
– After 5 mins drain your spuds.
– Take the roasting tray of hot oil out of the oven. Put in your potatoes and give them a good roll around (*giggle*) and put back in the oven.
– Meanwhile, cut the hard, flat bit off your garlic cloves and finely chop or snip up your parsley with kitchen scissors so you have about a handful. Leave to one side and go about your business.
– After 40 mins take the spuds out the oven.  Throw in your garlic cloves (skin still on),  and either gently shake (if feeling a bit cavalier) or turn with a spoon (if feeling less cavalier) so that the garlic is covered in the oil and the spuds are mostly rolled over.
– Return to the oven for another 20 mins.
– Remove your now golden, glorious little potatoes and soft, sweet garlic cloves from the oven and put in a serving dish.
– Garnish liberally with sea salt and parsley. This may be where your mother your mother calls you a tart.
– The garlic should have gently flavoured your potatoes and your guests can squidge the cloves out of their skins to add to the potato eating experience.

– Should any potatoes be left over they can be eaten cold, whilst doing the washing up. Or whilst watching Dr Who on iPlayer with a glass of wine.  I guarantee these are the best Sunday moments. Try it.