In France when you get married, you have to have a civil ceremony down at whatever they call city hall (Le Hall du Citie?). Thus if you get married in a church, you have to have two weddings.
So, when The Kid told me the name of what I was making was “re-wedding”, I figured that was the deal. I mean, the French have plenty of cute, odd culinary terms, so what’s one more?
A short list of quirky French food terminology:
Bain Marie-“Mary’s bath”. Cooking vessels in a pan of water, like custards or cheesecakes. It helps keep a moist environment.
Roux-This sauce thickener made of cooked equal parts fat and flour translates to “red head”, or for you Anglophiles; “Ginger”.
Aiguillettes-“Little needle”. Long thin strips of poultry, traditionally duck.
Vol-Au-Vent-A container made of puff pastry. Literally translates to ‘flight in the wind’.
The current project came from two different things.
I’ve been purchasing rotisserie chickens from Costco. They cost like $5, and are so big they could be of the fleet of a low-cost airline (though I’m positive the overhead bin space would be sorely lacking). I get about six cups of mixed white and dark meat.
But the birds come with a bonus.
After I’ve stripped off all meat from the carcass that I can, I then take said carcass, and make stock. Because the bird has already been cooked, instead of an eight hour ordeal, the whole process takes 3-ish hours.
To make this stock you’ll need the carcass of a large rotisserie chicken, as well as skin. There will also be some juice and a sort of jelly in the container. Use all of this. The gel is collagen that will give you a much, much richer stock.
This stock is crazy forgiving. The additional ingredients are very adjustable. Got more or less of something? Go for it. I promise, the stock police will not show up at your door.
4-5 celery stalks
5-6 cloves garlic
1 ½ teaspoons dry thyme
2-3 bay leaves
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Pinch of sugar
1 cup white wine
8 cups cold water
Wash the vegetables, but don’t bother peeling anything except the onion. Cut the onion into quarters, whack the garlic with your knife to bruise and throw both into a large heavy pot. Cut the celery and carrots into 2-3 inch pieces and toss them in. Put in all the chicken bits and pieces. Throw in herbs and spices. Pour in water and wine.
Turn on medium, and cook for about 30 minutes. Using a small mesh strainer, skim off any scum that’s risen to the top. Make sure everything is submerged, turn to medium-low, and let cook for about 2 more hours.
Strain with the finest strainer you have into a large bowl. You should have about 8 cups of stock.
Refrigerate overnight, and in the morning, skim off fat that’s risen and hardened. The stock should have a slight gelatinous texture when cold—this is a very good thing; it means you got all the good stuff out of the chicken.
Refrigerate up to a week or freeze for up to two months.
Oh, and I misunderstood The Kid. This stock isn’t called re-wedding…it’s remouillage, which means rewetting. I guess it means hitting the water twice (but it’s French, so I don’t know—I took Spanish in high school.).
Thanks for your time.