Project Food Blog

A foodie upside to the cold snap

'Cast ne'er a clout till May be out' – whichever smart Alec said that seems to have hit the nail on the head. I have been absolutely freezing the past couple of weeks (not helped by the fact that I'm refusing to budge from my wardrobe stance of sandals and summer jackets, because it's meant to be warm).

So we may not be lingering in the garden over a glass or two of rosé, and we may not be planning another barbecue weekend – we are, in fact, blogging with a hot water bottle in lap and a cup of herbal tea in hand…

But as always, food provides the upside. Any trip to the butcher at the moment always ends with my swerving the summery cuts, and buying a large joint or bird for roasting, and I can hardly use the excuse that the kitchen's too hot to boil up stock, so homemade stock it is.

Here's how I like to make mine:

• Take off the excess skin, break the chicken carcass down slightly and place in a large stock pot so that the joint is just covered with cold water
• Add 1 stick celery, 2 chopped carrots and 1 chopped onion
• Add one bay leaf, small handful of peppercorns and small handful fresh herbs
• Bring to boil then summer, uncovered, for up to two hours
• Leave to cool then strain and pick the remaining flesh from the chicken.

Our family favourite is chicken noodle soup – we simply reheat the chicken stock with thin noodles, handful of peas and sweetcorn, 1/2 tsp five spice and a good shake of soy sauce. Serve with freshly chopped coriander and chilli if desired.

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