Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bock Bock... It's Time For Some Organic Chicken Stock!

I have to admit that I can be a bit lazy so I often try to find short cuts to make my life easier, but somethings just deserve to be done right. You know like how a man treats a woman (wink wink), a good piece of dark chocolate, making French pastries and cooking homemade chicken stock.

Lucky for us making chicken stock isn't actually hard. It just takes time. But it makes a world of difference in the flavor profile of what you're cooking.

And the best part is you can give away your recipe and don't tell them that you made your own chicken stock-- they will never be able to recreate it and you will be held up as a goddess of soup/risotto/gravy/whatever. Yay!!

It's always nice to be adored.

This is such a culinary staple and it is probably the easiest thing in the world to make. Homemade chicken stock is heaven in a tiny little bowl and it can take your dishes from yum to YUM!!

Chicken Stock
Yields 6-8 cups
(I used all organic or home grown ingredients)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 4+ hours

  • 4-5 lb whole chicken, cavity cleaned, uncooked
  • 10 cups of water
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped roughly (thirds is fine)
  • 2-3 celery stocks, chopped roughly, with leaves on.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into quarters, skins on (red or yellow)
  • 1 large garlic head, chopped in half, skins on.
  • 1 bouquet garni which is basically a mix of herbs. I always use rosemary and parsley, but sometimes I'll add thyme or sage, too.
  • Salt
  • Pepper (you can also use whole black peppercorns-- approximately 1 tsp)

  • Put water in large pot. Heat water to a light simmer.
  • Add whole chicken (gizzards and such removed) to water. Add vegetables and herbs to pot. Add salt and pepper or use peppercorns. Continue with light simmer at least for 4 hours. 
  • Sit back and enjoy. Your house will smell divine and your husband, boyfriend, or roommate will constantly say things about how wonderful you are. Okay, it may be more like how hungry they are, but whatever. They mean they love you.
  • After 4 hours taste test the stock to see if you would like more salt and pepper-- it is a lot of liquid so you will use a decent amount! Don't be scared!
  • Remove chicken and save it for a later meal or snack.
  • Strain liquid over a large bowl. I recommend straining it 2-3 times. 
  • Let it cool. Optional: strain out fat (explained below)
  • Put in freezer approved containers or fridge for storage (storage information at bottom of post)
I recommend that you go visit the chicken around the 2 hour mark and poke it a bit with a wooden spoon so it starts to break up a bit and all the meat will be immersed in the liquid. If you want you can even flip the chicken over, but be careful not to splash yourself with the hot liquid. 

After you strain the liquid, let it cool for a bit. Don't be alarmed when the stock is cooled and there is a layer of white gel on top. That's fat. Either scoop it off if you want low fat chicken stock or just mix it back in if you want full fat before your store it. 

*If you want the full fat version, don't worry about the gel. It will be clumpy when you mix it back in for storage, but once you heat it up to cook with the fat will melt away.

You can use the left over chicken meat for chicken and dumplings, sandwiches, soups or casseroles. Whatever you can dream up!

I made Chili!!

Storage
Refrigerator: 1 week
Refrigerator freezer: 6 months
Deep freezer: 12 months

Freeze in 1 cup increments or in ice cube trays for easy access! 

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