A few years ago, I realized I was wasting a lot of money buying chicken stock. I go through so much of it when cooking, and spending a couple of dollars per container (on the high, I’m going to go organic and all that, end) was insane, especially since making good stock is so easy. I throw everything into the stock pot and let it simmer while I’m doing my other Sunday chores.
It’s good, it’s rich, and not too salty. Plus, I always have stock on hand — no more coming home, starting a meal, and discovering I forgot to buy stock.
Depending on what I’m doing, I make fresh stock every three to four weeks.
What makes this easier for me is assiduous collecting of bones and vegetable scraps throughout the month. I’m a big consumer of rotisserie chicken (nothing makes for faster on-the-go meals), so I freeze the bones after I pull off all the meat. I also toss leftover onions, carrots, and celery into my freezer bag for added flavor.
Roasted chicken bones tend to produce a richer flavor, so I prefer this route over cooking a whole hen…mostly because the resulting meat is so bland, it’s hard to imagine using it in any recipe. Plus stock from a boiled chicken doesn’t have the right golden color. It is pale and insipid, especially when compared to a stock made from roasted bones.
It probably should go without saying, but this process also works incredibly well for making turkey stock.
Basic Chicken Stock
By July 8, 2012Published:
- Yield: 12 cups
- Cook: 4 hours mins
Stocks are the building blocks of so many recipes, so it makes sense to always have some on hand. Making your stock from scratch ensures you're never out of this essential ingredient!
- Leftover bones from 1 or 2 (or three) chicken carcasses
- Vegetable scraps (onions, carrots, celery, parsley, etc)
- Salt and pepper
- Place the chicken carcasses and vegetables in a large stock pot. Cover with cold water. Add a generous teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of salt (more salt if you like your stock salty; I prefer to have my stock as plain as possible so I can season my main recipe like crazy!).
- Bring to a boil, then cut the heat back to a low simmer. Skim off the foam that comes to the surface (I sometimes forget to do this, and my stock seems to survive). Let simmer, about four hours.
- Remove bones and vegetables, and strain stock.
- Ladle the stock into cup-sized freezer containers (so you have a consistent size when you need stock). Freeze for up to three months. Use as necessary.