Sunday, February 21, 2010

Collagen-rich Chicken Stock for Chanko Nabe

I used to make chicken stock from the whole chicken and it always tasted so rich and delicious.
But lately, I love making the chicken stock with the chicken wings, and the result is super-rich and simply the best.

Chicken wings are so rich in flavors and collagen.

I get 2 pounds of organic chicken wings (Mary's) from Wholefoods. After rinsing them, I combine them with about 3L of water and 2 cups of sake. Once the water starts boiling, reduce to simmer, and skim any foam/ scum. Then, just add the green part of negi (Japanese green onion), some ginger slices, and black and Szechuan peppers.

Covering the surface with the foil before closing with the lid helps the even distribution of the heat.

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After 4-5 hours, you can visually see the gelatinous collagen starting to be exposed from every joint of the chicken wings. The stock is already very rich in flavor, so you can turn off the heat at this point and just make sure to hand-pick any gelatinous parts left on joints. Or, you can continue to cook for up to 12 hours (which I did last Saturday), then all the collagen will be dissolved into the stock naturally.

After straining the stock, it's good to chill it in the fridge overnight, then you can remove the grease which makes a solid layer on the top of the stock. The cold stock is so gelatinous and looks so rich.

I've been making the same rich chicken stock past few days. We used the stock to make the Chanko Nabe (sumo-style chicken hot pot) in my donabe/ Japanese cooking classes. I will post the pictures from my Chanko class soon. It was so much fun, and my skin is so smooth from all the collagen-rich broth I drank!