It is January. The holidays have come and gone, and now all I need to do now is to wait for summer to arrive again. The days will get longer, the snow will disappear eventually and before I know I will ride my bike again and wear sandals.
I am not sure if it’s a real trend, but in the last winters, maybe the last 5, there has been a noticeable trend towards warmer winters here in the coastal areas of Maine. It is as if the cold front band is pushed farther north from the jet stream, and we are now in some rain/sleet zone instead of a snow zone. My friends up North still have plenty of snow this winter, but here it comes and goes: Snow, and rain, and snow again.
It has been rather frustrating because instead of crisp powder and blue skies to whisk through the forests on skis, I now see dripping gutters and soggy streets. But a new feeling starts to set in, a realization that January and February might just be normal life with normal temperatures and normal shoes, and the existential bracing for arctic survival mode is no longer necessary.
I must admit I have not been much in cooking mood lately. However, on Black Friday I snagged an Instant Pot for around $60 on Amazon (the regular price is around $100), and it has been a really good buy. It is a multifunction pot, but I bought it for the electric pressure cooker function. Now, I can make cooked beans or chickpeas from dry, unsoaked beans in about 30min. Or deeply flavorful broth in 30min. Or cook spaghetti squash really fast.
I read somewhere that chicken wings are the best starter for chicken broth, because of them being mostly bones and fat, which is essential for good stock flavor. The instant pot has a broil function, although it takes a while to heat up, it works rather well (and no need to clean up another pot). I sauteed the wings first, with some onions and olive oil.
Once they were browned, I added carrots, celery and a bay leaf.
I filled the instant pot to the max line with cold water, and set it to soup/stew, closed the lid and it is doing the rest of the magic on its own.
I typically let the pot sit after it is done, and it keeps hot for a while and therefore, slowly simmering. There is a little vent that shows if there is still pressure in the pot or if it has dissipated and the lid can be opened.
Voila, chicken stock!