Friday, April 3, 2015

Free Range Friday ~ Silk Purses Out of Faberge Eggs

Remember that paella from a couple of weeks back? And the duck that came later? And a mention of soup? All of that came together the other day, a windy, almost chilly - for us - afternoon that whispered 'Soup! Make soup before it is too hot to make soup!' so I did.

In the freezer were two bags. One had trimmings - fat and some nice bits of meat - from the boneless, skinless chicken thighs used in the paella that just could not be tossed. The other contained the duck carcass. Both went into a pot and the boiling and simmering began. Once any meat left on the carcass had fallen off the bones and the fat had been totally rendered from any meat bits of chicken, it was set to cool and then put in the fridge for the fat to harden and make it a lot easier to remove it from the now awesome broth.

Broth cooking with picked off chicken and duck bits, onions, garlic, carrot, potatoes. And a roux getting started.
I made the roux because even though the broth was really flavorful it was just missing something. I know myself enough to know I have come close or completely wrecked a dish by adding a 'just try this and see if it works' ingredient. This had already taken a long time, which was fine, but to wreck it now would have been slightly criminal. Solution? Roux, made with the chicken fat. I could add a little bit and see how it worked and if not, no big harm would be done. 

Roux's also take time but are so worth it!
There are a lot of ways to make a roux. I used the skimmed off chicken fat and flour and stirred it on medium until I got the consistency, color and taste I wanted.  It worked, adding that roux-y something to the soup that pulled everything together. I wanted to post a friend's video on roux making but the techie gremlins are hards at work today, so that's not going to happen. Instead, here is a link for starter information. The best way to learn to make a roux is to just make one, after understanding what you make one from and why you'd want to do it in the first place. Play with your food!

If I'd had okra, this could have faked itself for a sort of gumbo. Next time.
As it was, it was pretty damned delicious!
These last two photos are from the Krusty Krab (next to the Post Office). I was leaving the PO and looked in to see Steve and Zuleyma inside. We were talking when these two plates of deliciousness showed up. There are very good ways to end a conversation and this was one or two of them.

I could only say buen provecho! and carry on, slightly drooling, with my errands while they feasted on Jose's cooking. 

Have a familiarizing Friday. Do something fearlessly. 

And p.s. Happy birthday to my favorite in all the world brother Jonny!! Best friend, personal comedian, great cook (yes, this IS like a ad for you! You're welcome). Love you!

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