When I was writing up this blog post, I wasn’t sure on how to name this recipe. It is made with roasting chicken leg quarters and a few pieces of beef short ribs in the oven at approximately 425 until it is a nice golden color.
I learned the techniques for this recipe from Rouxbe online cooking school. The recipe was originally more of a stock (just bones), but I find that it is difficult to find either chicken backs or necks at the grocery store. I could technically keep backs on hand (in the freezer) from anytime I roast a whole chicken I suppose.
Leg quarters are fairly cheap and have a lot of bone and connective tissue with some meat added as a bonus. The little bit of meat makes it more a broth I guess?
I use the dark chicken broth instead of beef broth because it is a neutral flavor and I add some beef flavor in this case anyway. There will be a follow-on French Onion soup recipe shortly that is based on this broth. The actual picture that is shown here is of the broth being used in the French Onion Soup.
One variation that can be made to this recipe for more of a chicken noodle soup broth (less dark) would be to omit the tomato paste and maybe use a white wine instead of a red one.
One cooking technique when making stock or broth is to add salt during every step. This is a lot of liquid and ingredients. The salt enhances all of these flavors. It is much better to add a little bit of salt every step of the way instead of waiting until the end to add a lot more salt. I also like to add a lot of black better but this is my personal taste.
I make this in my Ninja pressure cooker. This recipe yields about 3 liters of stock. I find that approximately 2 leg quarters (2.5 pounds) with the vegetables and liquid is all I can do at once. More chicken or vegetables would yield less broth while more liquid with less chicken/vegetables, is less flavorful. This is the balance I found for myself.
I use a 9 x 12 sheet pan. For the vegetables, I like to add some additional ingredients besides the typical mire pois (carrots/onions/celery). Shallots, garlic, and some leeks are added with this recipe. For the sheet pan with the vegetables, I like to section off each ingredient.
Another lesson I learned is to make the vegetable pieces approximately 1 inch in size. This gives them time to brown without overcooking the inside.
2 Chicken Leg Quarters (approximately 2.5 pounds)
1-2 Beef Short Ribs (Optional)
2 Carrots (or approximately 6 ounces of baby carrots)
1 Large Sweet (or Yellow) Onion
5 Cloves of Garlic (or half a bulb)
One leek (mostly the white part)
2-3 Ribs of Celery (with leaves still on)
Poultry Seasoning (preferably fresh) with Thyme, Rosemary, and Sage
1 Tablespoon Parsley (Optional)
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoons Black Peppercorn (whole)
2 Ounces of Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Red Cooking Wine
Grapeseed Oil (or other high temp oil)
3 Liters of Water (this is to the max fill line in my pressure cooker)
Salt/Pepper to Taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare 2 baking sheets (optionally lined with foil). One part of this recipe is deglazing the sheet pan with the chicken. The aluminum foil makes this difficult since we would need to scrape.
2. Cut the carrots, celery, leeks, and onions into approximately 1 inch pieces. You can leave the shallot whole (removing the outside peel). Remember to wash the leeks thoroughly to get out any sand. The garlic cloves will be peeled but saved for half-way through cooking so it doesn’t burn.
3. Line these ingredients up in the sheet pan.Drizzle some of the Grape-seed oil (along with salt/pepper) on the vegetables.
4. On the other sheet pan, put the 2 leg quarters down along with beef short ribs (optional). Drizzle this with Grape-seed oil and salt/pepper.
5. I use the center rack in the oven for the chicken and the bottom rack for the vegetables. Approximately, a quarter of the way through cooking time, I rotate both pans 180 degrees in case there is uneven cooking in the oven.
When the first side of chicken is brown, I turn it over.
For the vegetables, wait for them to get soft and a little bit of color and add the garlic.
6. Take the chicken and the vegetables out of the oven when the chicken is a golden brown and the vegetables have more brown to them. Here are some example pictures.
7. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the sheet pans and put into the pressure cooker. On the bottom of the chicken pan will be some brown bits of flavor (Sucs) due to caramelization. This flavor is a mixture of the seasonings, juices, and some pieces of chicken left over in the pan.
8. Deglaze with a quarter cup of your favorite wine. I used a red wine in this case. I do this off the burner and pour a thin layer of wine on the pan. I then scrape the bits up with a spatula and then pour into the pressure cooker pot.
9. Add 2 Tablespoons of Peppercorns (or pepper), salt (to taste), parsley (optional), poultry herbs (or seasonings), 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and 2 bay leaves to the pot.
Here is a picture of the poultry herbs I use. It is a roasting blend with Rosemary, Thyme, and Sage.
10. Add water to the fill line. In my case, I was able to add about 3 liters of water before reaching the max-fill line on my pressure cooker.
11. Cook on high setting for approximately 30 minutes.
12. Once done, you can keep it on warm setting for a few hours to let the flavors settle.
I will be following this up (shortly) with a French Onion Soup recipe that everyone enjoys.