Adventures with Chicken Stock

I had a rare burst of domesticity yesterday. Despite my sinuses, I managed to get a few things sorted: de-fuzzed the kettle (want to make a chemist happy - boil foul chemical as he comes through door), went shopping for dinner and lunches for the week, did a few dishes, blogged and wrote something serious (for a change).

After Boy and I reduced the roast chicken to bones, I bundled what was left into a large pot, threw some veggies in after the carcass, tried to drown it all in cold water and sprinkled it all liberally with mixed herbs.

Yes, I am aware there are proper, bona fide recipes for making stock. No, I've never used them, nor am I ever likely to. My version, if left to it's own devices, works well enough.

I went upstairs to work on my piece for the writing workshop. After a couple of hours, I came down, poked it and thought I ought to do something constructive with it. It is not unknown for pans of stock to sit on a corner of the stove for the rest of the week, desperately trying to attract my attention until they make a bid for freedom, forever hurt and disappointed in me.

I strained the stock into a large plastic jug and stared at it. Being all domesticated, my fridge now had food in it, a minor miracle. There was no room for the stock in this jug. A lightbulb went off in my head. I had a large plastic box, just perfect for the occasion. I fished it out of the cupboard tipped the contents of the jug into it. 

And that's when the trouble started.

I couldn't figure out why there was a growing puddle of stock on my counter. I hadn't been clumsy pouring the stock. So I picked it up, hot stock dripped from the bottom. 

Oh crap, I think. The container is cracked. I must tip it back into the pan. Which was a great idea; you would suppose.

Except I splashed my hand doing it. And jumped. And dropped the container with a litre and a half of liquid.

As Boy and I mopped hot chicken stock off the floor, we observed it hadn't missed soaking very much at all. The cooker, the oven front, down the kitchen drawers, handles, floor, bins...ah yes, we cleaned them all.

Boy had turned up after the spill. Apparently, my language was fairly foul (badoom tish).

Fine. I stomped up the stairs to carry on writing. There's only so much crying you can do over spilt stock (ha-ha) and I wanted to finish my piece so Boy and I could chill out together before bedtime.

After awhile, Boy poked his head through my study door.

"What's that noise?" 

We listen.

A loud clicking noise. We investigate.

My cooker's ignition system was sparking away merrily. The damn stock had shorted my cooker! We dismantle it and start to clean and poke and scratch our heads. I try switching everything off at plugs and circuit boards to no avail.

I ring Lawrence at home. He thinks hard and scratches his head. On his advice, I dismantle the cooker further, dry everything I could find.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am not going to bore you further with the details. All I am going to say is that however clean I thought my cooker was to start with....I was delusional. I'm somewhat surprised my dinner guests of days gone by, have not required hospitalisation (I say days gone by, because no one in their right mind would eat here after reading that). No wonder Boy and I have such robust gastric systems.

As I struggled to pull the knobs off and poke cotton buds on every bit of electrical gubbins I  find, Lawrence remarked that somehow he wasn't expecting the late-night phone call to be about my hot stock.

He's got a point.


  1. What a shame to lose all that lovely stock, as well as the awfulness of the mess and all. I hope the cooker works okay now.

    If it's the least little bit of consolation, if that had happened to me it would all have poured over the Aga and the house would stink of burned gravy for a week. I've not done it with stock but I have with milk, it's dreadful.

    1. I know! I was so cross. It was going to be a spicy sweet potato soup on Wednesday! Grrr....

      The cooker stopped sparking last night and worked alright this morning, when I put my stove-top on for coffee.

      And yes, I'm happier with the smell of chicken stock wafting around, than burnt milk.



  2. Now everything will taste like chicken!

    [dodges thrown stock-soaked sponge]

    1. *throws another one at LX*

  3. Yikes! Besides the mess and loss of stock, did you get burned? I hope not. Plastic is not the best choice for hot liquids... best to let them cool a bit first. Hope you're okay!

    1. There was the splash on my pinky that made me jump. Then I didn't think about it because I was too busy clearing up and trying to fix cooker....

      In other words, I'm fine thanks darling.

      Yes, I'm going to have to re-think my stock strategy.

      Hugs to you!

    2. Hugs to you too! So glad you are okay. And your cooker too.


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