My husband (Jeffers) is a ferocious cook. He was raised in a house where gourmet cooking was introduced at infancy. My mother-in-law is the Yoda of home chefs. My two sister-in-laws are also extremely talented. As a person who “married into” the Battista clan of culinary geniuses – I count my blessings at every family get together. I know I will eat well and gain at least ten pounds (but when you eat food like this – who cares?).
Jeff is an executive in the construction industry. His days are long and stressful. At the end of a busy work week – he likes to come home and decompress by cooking beautiful meals for our little family. Some men watch football. My man makes polenta.
We love New Orleans. The flavor profile of the Crescent City is always present in our home. 2012 – 2016 marked the “Emeril” years where Jeff cooked through every Emeril Lagasse recipe he could get his hands on. Jeff is part Portuguese (as is Emeril) and Jeff’s family comes from Massachusetts (so does “Papa Emeril” as he is referred to in our home). If Jeff had his way, he would frame a picture of Emeril and hang it right next to a photo of Ronald Reagan (don’t get me started).
While Emeril has mass-produced products he sells in mainstream grocery stores – if you read his cookbooks you will learn that the chef is a huge proponent of homemade stock. Stock is used to cook almost anything delicious: soups, short ribs, polenta, risotto etc. We, like many Americans, used to buy Emeril’s “store” stock – but on one particularly lazy Saturday – Jeff became ambitious and decided to follow Emeril’s recipe to make his own homemade chicken stock.
Our kitchen has never been the same since.
Homemade stock changes everything. It makes anything prepared with it taste magical. Flavors are bolder, more delicious and layered with all kinds of yummy things that you have to experience to believe. After tasting homemade stock – it became the standard in our home. We couldn’t go back to “store bought” stock. It just doesn’t taste the same.
Emeril’s recipe for homemade stock – has ruined us.
Over the years, Jeff has mastered the process for making chicken, beef, lamb, veal, shrimp and even lobster stock. He executes stock with such laser efficiency that he doesn’t even need to use a recipe.
I asked him about whether he has “created” his own stock recipe and he humbly said “no.” He did offer that he now adds his own “flavor” to the original Emeril recipe and has made it “his own.” But the heart and soul of the stock – is still Emeril.
I located Emeril’s Chicken Stock recipe via his website. Click here to get a copy for yourself. If you like to cook at all – please chuck the cardboard boxes of stock taking up space in your pantry and take a stab at making it yourself. I promise it will take your cooking to the next level.
As the holidays are fast approaching, you can even can the stock and give it as a gift along with a recipe card and all of the ingredients needed to make something yummy. How cute would that be? Super cute! I might have to steal my own idea and try it myself. BAM!