Those of you who make homemade chicken stock with your leftover chicken bones know how delicious that can be. This winter we learned that rooster stock is even more delicious! Pick up a rooster from Sacramento Poultry Shop* at 5th and Broadway. This great little shop sells a lot of old-fashioned poultry you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere (my best friend swears by their black chickens). A medium sized bird ran about $8. Take it home, stick the rooster in a large pot and fill it up most of the way with water. Bring it to a boil and skim the fat. Add onion, celery, carrot, leek, a bay leaf and a teaspoon of salt; bring to a boil again. Turn down to a low simmer and let it go for 4 hours uncovered*.
Strain and fill up four quart jars. Use the stock for chicken noodle soup, risotto, or whatever you like and freeze the rest. The cost comes to about $2.50/quart, which is cheaper than what you can buy at the store, and it will be much more tasty. In addition to the homemade superiority, the rooster flavor is stronger than typical chicken stock, and more gelatinous too. The stock was a gorgeous golden color with lots of yellow fat, the deeper colors reflect the deeper flavor.
As a bonus we cut some of the remaining meat off the bone and made rooster salad sandwiches. Because the meat lost some flavor during the simmering process, we heavily dressed it with salt, olive oil, chili, and parsley. It was great!
*This is essentially Judy Rodgers’ chicken stock recipe from The Zuni Café Cookbook.
**This used to be called New American Poultry; along with the new name, there is now a sign that says “Under New Management”. They seem to provide pretty much the same selection and I’m not sure they aren’t still connected somehow.