Homemade Roasted Chicken Stock

Ever since posting my Roasted Vegetable Stock, I've been meaning to follow it up with a Roasted Chicken Stock recipe. The ingredients are similar but the chicken stock requires a few more considerations because of the fat and bones. Since Thanksgiving (pumpkin pie!) is only 81 days away, it seemed like a good time to make a bucket of stock for the freezer and share my thoughts on the subject.

I asked The Google quite a few questions before making my first batch of chicken stock last year. Should I leave the skin on the chicken? Does celery really make the stock bitter as Thomas Keller suggests? Does good stock have to be gelatinous? I've included some of the helpful information I found under Recipe Tips.



Sriracha and Red Pepper Refrigerator Pickles

I frequently consumed my weight in pickles as a child, which probably explains why my father's side of the family gave me the nickname "Pickle". My love for vinegary vegetables even extends to our Christmas tree in the form of an adorable tin pickle ornament. I'm just your everyday pickle fangirl.

As much as I enjoy pickles, I haven't had much luck making them over the last couple of years. The recipes always seem relatively simple and yet the results are kind of flat and/or too vinegary. After having the Sriracha Pickles at Plan Check, I realized it was time I get it together and nail down my own version of brined cucumbers.



Blistered Padrón or Shishito Peppers with Chorizo and Smoked Sea Salt

The idea to pair blistered Padrón peppers with chorizo came from Willi's Wine Bar in Santa Rosa. Rob and I stumbled across Willi's about 10 years ago and it has been one of our favorite restaurants ever since. The seasonal menu never disappoints and we always discover great new-to-us wineries on their tasting list. The meal we had at Willi's a few weeks ago was one of the best yet. I've already replicated the macaroni and cheese (yum!) and plan to post that recipe soon.

We were talking with our server, JC, during dinner and discovered that he actually grew the Padrón peppers we were eating. JC and his wife lease a small parcel of land from a larger farm and grow various crops in limited quantities. It makes me love Willi's even more knowing that they support the up and coming local farmers in Sonoma.



How to Peel, Roast, and Candy Hazelnuts

I tried to make candied hazelnuts a couple of years ago and it didn't go very well. The skins wouldn't come off and the finished product had a sandpaper texture and cloudy color. That hot mess was enough to make me abandon candy recipes altogether.

While the nuts were a sad affair, the ice cream dessert that they went with was delicious (post for the latter coming soon). Over the weekend, I decided to ask The Google for advice so I could give the candy process another go. I'm happy to say that this attempt was a big success thanks to some help from Julia. These candied hazelnuts are perfectly caramelized, crunchy, and glossy. I took notes as I went through the process and have included all of that info below.