Chicken Stock

Yum… stock.  Sorry all, I’m still having photo issues. It turns out I need software (from my folks’ house) transfer the photos from the camera to my computer. Until then, back to stock.

Stock, also known as broth, is one of the staples of a thoroughly stocked kitchen. Its amazing! It is used in every soup, cook rice or potatoes in it to up the flavor, or if you are sick in winter just add some ginger and drink it like tea. It is the basis of the home remedy, Chicken Noodle Soup. I always have some in my freezer.

On to the stock, I roasted a chicken (I promise this will be a future post). My boyfriend and I ate some for a meal and then the took the rest of the meat in sandwiches for his lunch. While I got the best part, the bones. This is a good project for a Saturday/Sunday when you are home most of the day and it helps take care of any of those left over veggies that might be a bit less than fresh in your fridge.

  • Chicken bones – Anything you have including wing tips and if you have the neck from a whole chicken throw that in. It doesn’t matter if it is raw or cooked.
  • 1 carrot
  • Celery leaves (or about 2 stalks)
  • 1 small yellow onion (add skins also for color)
  • 1 small head of garlic (or less if you don’t love garlic)
  • Mushroom stems or old mushrooms
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • Please feel free to add anything else in the fridge like fresh herbs, parsley stems, or the rind of Parmesan cheese (no spinach, dark greens, squash, or anything with a strong bitter flavor)

Put everything, except fresh herbs in the biggest pot you have. Cover with cold water about an inch above the ingredients. Cook uncovered over the lowest heat for 8-10 hrs.  Stir occasionally. You want it to simmer (very small bubbles) not boil (very large bubbles). If the bones or vegetables peek out of the water add more water. To this point you haven’t added any salt. That’s just the way you want it. Now scoop out all the vegetables, bones, and herbs and throw them away. All the flavor has been absorbed by the broth, so they aren’t needed any more. Cool the broth in an ice bath or if it is cold outside (below 40 degrees) cover and set outside with something heavy on top.

Once cool you’ll notice a layer of fat on top. You can either leave it or scrape it off. I usually remove the fat. If you want to use it immediately, remember to salt, or if you won’t need it for a bit freeze it. Freeze in jars, old yogurt or sour cream containers, or my personal favorite freeze into ice cubes trays then bag them. Ice cubes are really easy to throw into whatever you are making and they don’t take very long to defrost.  Preferably use the stock within 4 months but it can last as long as 6 months to a year. Whenever you do use it remember you might have to up the amount of salt used in the recipe, but taste first.

You can make many different types of stock, other possible things to add or substitute:

  • ginger
  • more garlic
  • beef bones, fish bones or shrimp shells, or all sorts of vegetables
  • fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or parsley

Until later, life is short lick the spoon!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Linda on May 2, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Bruce and I have just rediscovered a very simple, but delicious recipe that stars chicken broth. It’s on page 68 of the Silver Palate Cookbook, “Spaghetti with oil and garlic”. Yum and quick for one of those nights when you get home and have no dinner planned but do have chicken broth/soup in the freezer.
    Note: We prefer it without the raw garlic.

    BTW, my sister who used to cook for a huge kibbutz, makes her chicken soup with chicken wings – emphasis totally on the bones.


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