...Especially considering that I don't like chicken that much. Absolutely: if salmon could easily be reduced to stock, if pork didn't frighten me in an antediluvian way, if I didn't have to spend way too much time looking up words like "antediluvian"...I wouldn't have anything to do with chicken.
I do think about it a lot. Thinking about making chicken stock and rendering chicken fat are two of the only thoughts which allow me to sleep at night. The world being the way it is.
When I made that reference to the world, what I meant was "the approaching presidency of donald trump." When I add that you will probably never see trump's name capitalized in this blog, you will start to have an idea of where I stand on that great question of our time: does the Presidency of one donald john trump constitute the greatest threat to the planet since J. Robert Oppenheim wondered what would happen if you put an atom in the food processor? I might mean blender. They didn't have food processors in 1943. Not in New Mexico, anyhow.
I'm terrified because a stupid, ignorant man (did you know that "stupid" and "ignorant" actually mean two different things? The second is merely a lack of knowledge; the first is the inability to acquire knowledge; trumpy-bollocks has them both), disabled by Narcissistic Personality Disorder, hobbled by his own lack of communication skills, proud possessor of a pitiable and conventionally sociopathic set of social and human values, is about to become President of the United States.
In case you're wondering, I voted for Hillary, thought she would be a great President, worried a little about Bill getting back in the White House; as a former social worker I did not like Welfare Reform. That guy just needed to be liked way too much.
The early morning of November 9 was the worst day since I realized that a. my then-husband literally did not care whether I lived or died and b. he was holding the family checkbook and all the credit cards. (I gave him my wallet before I went into the hospital. Stupid me, right?)
I still get queasy when I look back on that day (president, not ex). And I've seen my candidates lose before this. I'm pretty much a lifelong Liberal/Moderate. I've toughened up and faced the world the day after Reagan won (twice), and same for George W. Bush, and the days after my candidates dropped out after losing primaries.
November 9 was different. But you know what I did? I planned to make chicken soup on the weekend. Then I thought long and hard and I realized that the gastroparesis was probably masking my joy at the triumph of the peaceful transition of power.
I rejected my #NotMyPresident friends and I heralded the triumph of the will of the people. Stuck a safety pin on my coat because it seemed and still seems a good way to protect the vulnerable. Told myself that only the lunatic fringe of Trump voters would take this opportunity to bully and hurt, but that I wanted to be there for their victims. (Still wearing the pin).
Then came eight weeks of stupidity, cruelty, assholiness, and the eventual awakening to a certainty that, a. (I do this a lot) trump's election was not the will of the people and b. he simply could not be permitted to serve as President.
(Just in case the Secret Service or Homeland Security are watching, let me make it clear that my hope and goal is that trump will be removed from office by impeachment and/or the simple rule that a convicted felon, an income tax evader for example, cannot serve as President. He should live and be well! Far away from me!)
The making of chicken soup is a soothing process.
First you get together a bunch of parts--chicken thighs, backs, necks, and feet, for choice. Then vegetables with which to cook the soup--leeks, carrots, onions, celery.
Remove skin from chicken parts. Stack skins neatly, no more than 1 inch high, and save them for rendering chicken fat later on. Added skinned chicken pieces to a big pot which holds at least three gallons. Add water to cover by at least three inches. Add at least one tablespoon of salt.
Cook over medium heat for two hours. Skim the top of the pot while the chicken is cooking.
You have cleaned any visible dirt off of the vegetables, right? Now cut them into 2-inch sticks, except the onion, which you quarter. Add all veg. Cook for another hour.
Strain out all the chicken and veg bits. Toss or compost them. What remains is chicken soup. If it doesn't taste the way you want, cook down further/add seasonings/add water.
This is America. For the time being at least, until trump in the midst of an infantile meltdown orders that all chicken soup in the United States must be Cock-a-Leekie, as made by his Scots mother, we do have a choice.
(And if you don 't know some of the words I used here, look 'em up).
I'll be back to render that chicken fat after the Inauguration.