I’d been buying whole chickens lately. It’s what they tell you to do on all the cooking shows. I’ve been roasting them whole (recipe) and in pieces (recipe). But every time, I would throw away the bones. Finally, it was time to just suck it up and make the effort.
Usually, I don’t really use recipes that call for chicken stock. If I do, I try to figure out a way to substitute water and/or wine plus cornstarch slurry. But with the wife being pregnant and all, I found myself buying more chicken broth when recipes call for chicken stock, which was a convenient, alcohol free substitution.
But chicken broth is not the same as chicken stock. Stock is made with bones. Broth is not. There’s no bones in broth. And where the stock is supposed to provide body in addition to flavor, broth just isn’t the same. And it turns out, making chicken stock wasn’t that hard at all. And the return on the time investment was phenomenal. Even though I didn’t really use chicken stock in my cooking prior to this, I find myself using it all the time, now that I have it on hand.
Chicken stock recipe:
1. Chop it: chop up some vegetables and throw them in the pot. I threw in some chopped carrots, onions, and leeks because that is what I had on hand.
2. Boil it: add the remains of one chicken (I had some wing tips and the spine of a chicken I had butchered into pieces the night before). Cover with about 6 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about three hours.
3. Filter it: strain the solids out of the liquid. Throw away the solids. Let the liquid cool to room temperature. As it cools, feel free to skim Any accumulating fat from the top of the liquid.
4. Freeze it: you can use the stock as is. I like to freeze mine into 1c or 2c pucks. That way, I can pull it out of the freezer and easily add a specific amount.
Since having made this batch of chicken stock, I have found myself making a lot of soups and stews, which has made for some very comforting lunches as the weather in Chicago begins to cool. And, since I made it myself, I have been able to control things like sodium or preservatives, which makes me happy as the cook for a pregnant wife.
Plus, its super delicious to use and ultra cheap to make. Recipes using chicken stock pucks to come.