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Dem Bones, Dem Bones

Here’s a weird idea: ask for a "doggie bag" to take home those chicken bones from the restaurant, but keep them for yourself. Pork ribs too. And consider too taking that leftover beef bone sitting alone on the plate.

These bones are the underrated makings of magic, also known more commonly as stock. If there is one cooking trick that can change your life it is this easy to make broth. And the bones roasted in tasty sauces and grilled to perfection at a restaurant will yield some of the best you’ve ever had.

Many of us do this at Thanksgiving with the turkey carcass. But the rotisserie chicken you just bought at the supermarket? Keep those bones too. Just put some onions, carrot and celery (the best ratio of the vegetables is 2-1-1) some garlic, thyme, parsley and bay leaf (or any combo of these you might have) into a pot and cover with water. Bring it to a low boil, turn down to a low simmer and you are in business. After watching a Netflix show, talking to your grandmother on the phone or taking the dog for a sizable walk, strain out the bones and veggies, and chill the resulting stock.

Now you can do whatever you want with the stock. Yes, you can make soup, but you can also add the stock to your sauces to make it saucier (a good way to keep a stock for sauce is to freeze the stock in an ice cube tray).

If you want to get really crazy with complete utilization, you can cover the bones and vegetables with water again and follow the same process. Called a remouillage, the resulting stock is usually quite weak, but is a great replacement for the water in your next stock because it will make the flavor of your next stock even stronger.

So say goodbye to the boneless, skinless, blandness of that chicken breast you used to buy, and instead get the whole bone in breast, just as God intended. Or better yet, get a whole chicken and ask your “sexy” (or not so sexy) butcher to cut it into pieces for you. Have them wrap the pieces separately so you can freeze them for many different occasions of later deliciosity. And remember, Save dem bones!

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