Our resident kitchen klutz Savannah Guthrie is learning how to cook, under the tutelage of Bobby Flay. When it comes to cooking, it's best to master the basics before tackling the tough stuff. Flay shares how to make a perfect chicken stock base and tomato sauce — two recipes that are the keys to so many delicious dishes.
- 3 lb chicken
- 3 lbs chicken bones (carcasses)
- 1 large Spanish onion (with skin left on), halved
- 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 large stalks celery, coarsely chopped
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
Use enough cold water to cover chicken by 2-inches in a large stock pot. Combine all, bring to a boil, reduce to a low and simmer for 3 hours, skimming the surface occasionally. Strain though a chinois lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl. Let cool to room temperature — cover and refrigerate. When chilled, fat rises to top — remove this fat layer. Or, buy a grease separator and skip that step. Put the stock into a large saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce slightly to intensify the flavor. Tips:Discard all solids. Do NOT allow the stock to boil, only simmer or it will become cloudy. Never salt a stock — it is a base for other recipes — add salt when you use it in other recipes Skim the scum that rises from the chicken with a small ladle every 30 minutes or so to keep the stock as clear as possible. Using a combination of bones and whole chicken will give a rich flavor and great body. The meat will add flavor and the bones will add gelatin to give the stock body.
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 28-ounce cans San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 4 ounces baby arugula
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 cup fresh ricotta
1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, high-sided sauté pan. Add the onion and cook until soft, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 2. Add the tomatoes and half of the reserved juice and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes and then gently crush the tomatoes with a potato masher until slightly smooth. Taste for seasoning and add sugar if needed. Add the chile flakes and continue cooking until thickened, about 45 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Season the sauce with the salt and pepper to taste. 3. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to coat evenly. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water, if needed and ½ cup of the cheese. Stir in the arugula, eggplant and herbs. Transfer to a platter and top with dollops of ricotta and serve with the remaining cheese on the side.