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Wild Bird Glace

Ingredients

  • 15-quart stockpot and a large frying pan
  • Ample amount of yellow onions
  • Carcasses of wild birds left over after cooking. (Note: I freeze mine in Ziploc bags, storing them up until the end of the year.)
  • Olive oil
  • Bay leaves
  • Juniper berries

Preparation

How to make a glace Start by chopping bones into pieces with a cleaver. The bones of young birds are best, as these contain more gelatin, and the marrow contains more flavoring ingredients. Chop a pile of yellow onions equal in size to your pile of bones.

Next, coat your frying pan with olive oil, and caramelize the onions (anywhere from 1 to 3 hours depending on quantity), cooking them on medium heat until they have a soupy consistency and the color of honey.

Lay bones out flat on a cookie sheet and broil 5 minutes, or until they begin to release juices. Add onions and bones to stock pot, and add water to top off pot. Add two bay leaves and a half dozen juniper berries.

Keep this mixture at a rolling boil, with no lid, until half the water has evaporated (3 to 4 hours). Strain contents through a colander into a bowl, taking care to mash all the liquid from the bones. Pour only the liquid back into stockpot.

The French define a glace as stock reduced to “about a fourth of its original volume.” So how much stock you have at this stage dictates how much water to add. Add water to stock in a 3:1 ratio, and again bring this to a rolling boil until water evaporates away and what you are left with is a deep brown liquid that’s noticeably thicker than gravy.

Freeze in plastic containers. For a dinner of four, about one cup will do fine. While warming to serve, add a splash of cognac or some wild morels if you have them.