Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chicken Stock

This post should have gone up yesterday, but here it is today. I guarantee making your own chicken stock will have multiple benefits:
- you'll save lots of money
- your chicken stock will taste better
- your cooking options will expand
- your guests will be impressed
- you'll feel satisfied knowing you didn't let anything go to waste

Now, remember that Roast Chicken from earlier in the week? Time to use it (and really you should do this step within 24 hours of making the Roast Chicken.) Take the leftover chicken and remove as much meat from the bones as you possibly can. Depending on how many people you fed/how much you ate when you first made the Roast Chicken, you will get anywhere between 1-4 cups of chicken.

Put the chicken in a sealed container in a cold part of the fridge, we're using it in a couple nights for Indian Food - Chicken Tikka Masala, to be exact. If you have more chicken leftover than what is called for in that dinner, put it in a ziplock bag and place it in the freezer. We'll use it within the next couple weeks.

Now, all the non-meat bits of the chicken? Yes ALL of them - toss them in a pot. If your Roast Chicken turned out the same way mine did, you should have several cups of broth left in the bottom of your stock pot. Add the non-meat chicken bits to that broth. You can literally add everything - the bones, any innards, any skin, any leftover garlic/carrots/potatoes clinging to the chicken. Add approximately 8 cups of water and place on the stove on medium heat, once it reaches a bowl, reduce heat to low and let stock simmer for about an hour.

Turn off the stove and let the stock cool to room temperature. Pour the stock into containers with tight sealing lids (preferably glass - being sure to leave an inch or two at the top for expansion, otherwise your jars will explode in the freezer. Bummer) and place in the freezer. I find it useful to freeze the stock in jars of various sizes so I can thaw an appropriate amount for the right recipe. Canning jars work incredibly well, as do any glass jars. I also sometimes use washed out juice cartons (plastic ones) to store a larger quantity of stock.

From this chicken, I pulled enough chicken for 3 meals and made 12 cups of stock.

Now that is a well used $6 chicken.

As a side note - feel free to add any other veggies or seasoning to your stock. Popular options include celery (or celery leaves), carrots, onions, garlic, salt, and/or pepper. Have fun!

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