Hatch Chile Chicken Stock

Hatch Chile Chicken Stock

 

Sadly, another Hatch Chile season is almost at a close. Hopefully you got your case of Hatch chiles, and had them roasted for you at one of the Melissa’s Produce Hatch Chile Roasting events near you. There are still a couple of events coming up, in case you missed one. This recipe for Hatch Chile Chicken Stock actually calls for fresh Hatch chiles, which you can still find in supermarkets.

Usually a chicken stock is made to be a neutral base, with the essence of chicken being what you taste. That way the stock can be used for sauces, soups, stews or whatever you needed it for. If you already know what recipe you intend to use your stock in, you can layer the flavors of the recipe into your stock base.

Here are a few basic stock additions to consider:

Ginger, lemongrass – Asian dishes

Cilantro, coriander, cumin – Mexican dishes

Cardamom, clove, cinnamon – Indian dishes

Also consider fresh herbs and dried chiles as additions to your stocks for a maximum flavor boost.

I made this stock in my slow cooker, which I do if I am making a smaller amount of stock. When I make my post Thanksgiving turkey carcass stock, I use my 16 quart stockpot and cook it overnight. For this stock, I used a few chicken carcasses I had in the freezer, and cooked it for 24 hours in my 8 quart slow cooker.

If you like to roast chickens or buy quality roasted chicken from your market, save the carcasses after you eat the meat. Pop the bones into a resealable plastic bag, and freeze them. When you have 2-3 frozen, you can make a pot of stock.  If you have any chicken  or turkey necks, throw those in too!

Classic chicken stock is made from raw bones, but you can make a really good stock using roasted chicken bones.

Once your stock is made, if you do not need to use all of it, pour the cooled stock into resealable plastic bags and lay them flat on a sheet pan. Place the sheet pan into the freezer until the stock is frozen. Remove the sheet pan from the freezer, leaving the bags of stock. The flat bags of stock take up less space in the freezer.

Hatch Chile Chicken Stock

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 quarts

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken carcasses
  • 4 mild or medium Hatch Chiles seeded, cut into large chunks
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrots washed and quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 quarts cold water

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken carcasses into a large (8 quart)  slow cooker.

  2. Place the Hatch chiles, onion, carrots, bay leaf and thyme into the slow cooker, tucking ingredients around and on top of carcasses.

  3. Pour the water over the ingredients, adding more if needed to bring the level to the top of the slow cooker.

  4. Set the slow cooker to low, and the timer to 24 hours.

  5. When stock is done, strain the stock into a large bowl or pot through a double layer of cheesecloth.

  6. Place the bowl into an ice bath to cool the stock quickly, then refrigerate until completely cool. 

  7. Remove and discard any fat that has solidified on the surface. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

  8. Use or freeze stock within 2-3 days.

Slow Cooker Persimmon Butter

Persimmons, Cinnamon and Vanilla in Slow Cooker

Fall is here and persimmons are abundant. Farmer’s markets and grocery stores showcase them in all of their vibrant  orangeness.

I am lucky to be able to walk out my front door, go next door and harvest the sweetest organic persimmons from my neighbor’s tree. She doesn’t like persimmons, she just likes having fruit trees. The tree was sagging under the weight of the fruit this year, so I thought it best if I unburdened the poor little tree.

Persimmons are either a love it or hate it fruit. I prefer cooking mine, while my sister actually likes them under ripe! I also like the firm Fuyu persimmon much better than the soft Hachiya variety. The image below is of my neighbor’s Fuyu persimmons.

 

Fuyu Persimmons

If you are on the fence about persimmons, this is a great recipe to break you in. The spiced butter is so delicious on toast, on ice cream or topping a baked sweet potato.

Or eaten right off the spoon.

 

Persimmon Butter

 

Slow Cooker Persimmon Butter
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 pints
Ingredients
  • 2 - 2½ pounds Fuyu persimmons, stem end removed, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit open
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup turbinado or raw sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients into a slow cooker, stirring to blend the ingredients.
  2. Set the slow cooker to high and the timer to 4½ hours.
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean from the slow cooker.
  4. In a food processor or strong blender, carefully puree the persimmons and juice.
  5. Spoon the persimmon butter into 2 pint sized mason jars.
  6. Place the inside flat lid onto the mason jars, then screw on the ring lightly.
  7. Let the persimmon butter cool to room temperature.
  8. Store the jars in the refrigerator once cooled.

 

Slow Cooker Beef Cheek Ragu with Orecchiette

Slow Cooker Beef Cheek Ragu with Orecchiette

Beef cheek? What the heck is a beef cheek?

It is exactly what it sounds like. The cheek of a cow. When I think of cows, I tend to picture them chewing their cud in a grassy field. And the muscles the cow needs to chew are in the jaws and cheek. Those muscles work hard everyday, meaning they are tough and lean. That is a very good thing, because the tougher cuts of meat are also the most flavorful. But, if they are not cooked correctly, they become a not very good thing.  Tough cuts of meat need to be cooked low and slow. That means low temperature for a very long time.

Beef cheeks are not something you find in your everyday supermarket, unless you live near a good Hispanic or Asian market. Go to a butcher store, or ask the meat department in your supermarket if they can order them for you.  If beef cheeks are nowhere to be found, this recipe would work well with beef shanks or short ribs. You will have to adjust the cooking time.

Slow Cooker Beef Cheek Ragu with Orecchiette

Slow Cooker Beef Cheek Ragu with Orecchiette
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 pound beef cheek, excess fat trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 can water
  • 8 ounces orecchitte
Instructions
  1. Place the onions, thyme, rosemary, oregano and .garlic into a large slow cooker.
  2. Season the beef cheek with salt and red pepper, place on top of the vegetables.
  3. Pour the can of tomatoes onto the beef.
  4. Using clean hands, crush the tomatoes to release their juices.
  5. Fill the tomato can with water and pour into the slow cooker.
  6. Set the slow cooker to high.
  7. Cook for 6 - 6½ hours, until the meat is very tender.
  8. Remove the cheek from the slow cooker and shred the meat.
  9. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce, removing any herb stems in the sauce.
  10. Return the meat to the sauce.
  11. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  12. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  13. Serve the ragu over the cooked pasta.

 

Slow Cooker Beef Cheek Ragu with Orecchiette