So why does my post start with Poultry Stock TAKE ONE (p. 117)? This conversation might clear it up...
Me (washing the chicken): Do you think the variety meats go into the stock?
Josh: Which variety meats?
Me: I don't know, the chicken neck, gizzard, liver, and heart?
Josh: I don't see why not.
Me: So I should just throw them in?
So I did. Apparently, believe it or not--the liver makes the broth taste like liver! That's probably fine if you like liver. But we don't. Ick! I used the stock once and threw the rest away :( And there is only one picture of this failure...you will have to wait for take two!
If only we had smell-o-computer!
I decided to do this in the first place because canned chicken stock is expensive and salty. It seems stupid when a chicken is less than five bucks, and you end up with both the cooked chicken and the stock--really cost-effective! So if you are trying to save money, make your own stock and eat the chicken.
So what did I make with my liver-chicken stock? It needed to be something strong...I figured I would make Butternut Squash Soup (p. 129). I'll admit, I love squash--all squash. I grew up eating a ton of it because squash plants are prolific and my father always planted tons in his garden.
The squash--to remove the seeds, I used a spoon, but a grapefruit spoon would be much better. I don't have any grapefruit spoons though....
The recipe doesn't say to cut the squash in half, but i thought they might cook better that way.
Post-cooking--so much lighter!
Now onto another problem--scraping the cooked (and slightly cooled) squash from the skin. I hate doing stuff like that and I tend to burn my fingers. So I looked around at my cooking gadgets...if a peeler can peel a raw squash, why not a cooked squash? So I tried it. It worked extremely well! I highly recommend doing it this way.
I love this style of peeler. I think they peel way better and you can dig out potato eyes with the end.
Leeks. Some of you may remember that I was intimidated by them before...I've read so much about how you have to get all the grit out that I was convinced they were difficult to wash. They aren't! But you do seem to waste a lot of the leek--really, the whole top gets thrown away (unless any of you know anything to do with it!). The leek/ginger mixture smelled really, really good).
The uncooked squash mixture...simmering...yum....
It only has to simmer for about 20 minutes. This is not a slow soup, which is great!
Pureeing the soup...of course, this wouldn't be a problem if I had an immersion blender or a food processor that wasn't a three-cup. But I don't. So I used a blender.
Let me tell you, if you like to live on the end, pour hot soup, using the incredibly hot steel handles of the pot, into a blender. Then use such-said cheap blender, holding the top on, so the entire kitchen isn't covered in butternut squash. It was absolutely terrifying.
But eventually, it worked.
The finished soup....I know it's not a very good picture, but the soup was absolutely delicious. So good--but a little thin. I might use a big butternut squash next time.
The weirdest thing about this soup? I made it with the squash that was on the table. Later, I went back to the table, looked in the bag--and there was ANOTHER butternut squash! So the one I used must have been ancient--or the butternut squash has learned how to clone itself! Apparently, squash stay good for a long time...