I was in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago and found Bouchon.  I recognized it as a Thomas Keller restaurant and decided I had to try everything!  I went there 2 or 3 times a day for  about 7 days and did end up trying most of the items on the menu.   It was so good that it was inspiring!   As soon as I returned home, I ordered the Bouchon cookbook and started planning on what I would make first.

The plan is to cook and document as many items from the cook book that I care to make.  There are a LOT of recipes in there, so I don’t expect that I will cook everything , but I might as well keep going until I get bored.  I have a small NYC apartment with a very small stove as can be seen here.  A small roasting pan and a skillet can not fit on the top at the same time, so there will be some time management involved.

The first will be Onion soup.  It takes a lot of time, but doesn’t seem too difficult. I’ve always had a thing for onion soup and I love the idea of being able to make a good one.  Normally, you’d be able to cook the onions at the same time as making the stock, but deglazing the roasting pan will take some space, so I’ll just do one thing at a time.  No rush.  I’ll probably do the stock today and the onions tomorrow.

First step is to roast the 5 lbs of bones.  There is a great meat market just a couple blocks from here, which had all the meaty neck bones I wanted.   Although they seemed to have a bit too much meat on them, so I also got some normal leg bones with minimal meat to even it out.  I have a petite roasting pan, but all the bones were able to fit perfectly in one layer.

Roasted 45 minutes and flipped once at about the 25 minute mark.  I then moved the bones to the cooling rack to drain and then deglazed the pan with 1 cup of water.

Charred half an onion on a skillet for some color

Loaded the deglazed water, charred onion, roasted bones and 5 quarts of cold water and it just barely fit into my q quart stock pot.  Started simmering for 5 hours.  (this is after simmering for about 1 hour.  The liquid reduced a bit already)  The liquid kept reducing quite a bit, so I had to keep adding water.  (hint:  adding boiling water from a kettle keeps the temperature stable)

Meanwhile, I roasted the rest of the vegetables for about 40 minutes.  1 large leek (3 oz), 1.5 onions and 3 oz of carrot.

I added the spices, herbs and vegetables to the stock for an additional hour of simmering.  Let it rest for 10 minutes then ladled it into a separate container.

I got all the broth I was gonna get, and it was magically 3.5 quarts!  Just like the book predicted.  I put it in an ice bath and stirred it until it got down to room temperature.   I’m going to refrigerate this, then strain it again to get remove any solidified fat.  (The book doesn’t have you do this, but I read it somewhere else as en easy way to get at all the remaining fat)