April 6, 2012 § 3 Comments
Having chicken stock in my freezer is something I always make sure I have plenty of. It’s used in so many dishes, from soups to stir fry, to thinning down a sauce, to simmering your vegetables in instead of plain water. And really, throwing away those meaty bones is something I can’t bring myself to do. I just put whatever bones I have left over into a zip-lock bag and plop them in the freezer until I have a pot’s worth. I save all sorts of bones, including lamb chops, porterhouse steak, pork roasts, even fish bones. (those usually go into the compost bin for the garden). I’ve been known to take a good bone home in a doggy bag. Ask my sister!
I freeze the stock in smaller containers so I can take it out at a moment’s notice and warm it up. I also put some into ice cube trays, and once frozen put them into zip-lock bags as well.
So here’s how to always have some on hand, and there’s nothing like homemade….anything. And I almost forgot, making your own this way is so much more economical than buying it, especially if you like to buy organic.
Basic Chicken Stock
Enough chicken carcasses and bones to fill a large stockpot. Add some giblets if you have them saved. (remove the liver though, can give it a bitter taste)
2 to 3 carrots
3 to 4 celery stalks
1 large onion, quartered
fresh parsley ( a large handful, stems and all)
5 to 6 peppercorns
about 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 to 2 whole allspice (very important for flavor)
1 strip kelp or kombu, for minerals
1 bay leaf
1 or 2 pieces of Parmesan rinds
dash of vinegar ( apple cider is good)
So put your bone collection into the stockpot. Make sure the bones fill it up nicely. Add your vegetables and the rest of the ingredients and fill with cold water. The key with stock is not to add too much water or it won’t have much flavor. So see that the bones are packed in quite tightly before adding the water. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer away. I simmer mine a very long time, usually 4 to 6 hours. The longer the better, all those minerals will be leaching out of the bones and into your broth. ( the vinegar will help do this) In fact I once made a beef broth and simmered it for 36 hours. Yes, 36 hours.
No need to skim the froth on top as it cooks. When done, strain through a fine meshed sieve and discard all solids. Cool and refrigerate it overnight. Remove the fat from the top if you wish and pour into your containers. This can become quite thick, that is good. All that good collagen from the bones is the reason.
The stock will keep for about 3 to 4 days in the fridge and 6 months or so in the freezer, if it lasts that long!
Makes about 12 cups or so.