Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to: Make your own chicken stock

One of my favorite things to make is homemade chicken stock.  Homemade chicken stock is better for you then store bought (less sodium), often in my opinion tastes better, is cheaper than store bought and it makes use of kitchen scraps.  This is how I make our chicken stock:

  • First, throughout the month while cooking, save any left over kitchen scraps that would otherwise be thrown out or composted, i.e. left over chicken bones, whole chicken carcasses, ends of carrots, ends of celery, ends of onions.  Freeze these until ready for use.
  • When you have enough scraps (at least one left over 'whole' chicken, several carrots, celery and onion) take them out of the freezer and add to a large stockpot.
  • Add enough water to cover your veggies and bones.  
  • Add salt and or pepper, and any kind of seasoning that you desire such as poultry seasoning or thyme and rosemary.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Allow this to cook for at least 4 hours.  Add more water if necessary to keep your veggies and meat just under water.  The longer you cook it the better it will be.  
  • Taste and add more seasoning throughout cooking it to your desired taste.
  • When done, let cool.  
  • Remove veggies and meat.   
  • Using a fine sieve, pour stock into freezer containers.
  • Label and freeze.

  The best 'chicken' stock I've ever made was from our Thanksgiving turkey this year.  It was wonderful and I made turkey noodle soup with it.  I always try to keep some stock in the freezer because it's great in soups, pastas, and other homemade dishes.

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