Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Homemade Chicken Stock

Let's be frank: Store bought chicken stock sucks.

For something that's so incredibly easy to do - you literally boil shit in a pot - I have no idea why so many brands fail to make something remotely palatable. Especially considering how invaluable a good, rich stock is to everything from rice to mashed potatoes. It can really make or break a recipe and turn the mundane into something fantastic.

Fortunately for you and me, chicken stock is really simple to make (although it takes a bit of time) and it's a great way to use up all those kitchen scraps and chicken carcasses you generally don't have much use for. I like to freeze chicken carcasses (there's no nice way to phrase that), and any carrot, onion, or celery ends to save for stock. 

Economical and delicious - it really doesn't get much better than that.

PS. Want to convert this recipe to make in your slow cooker? Just put everything in at night, and let it cook on low until morning.

Homemade Chicken Stock

1 chicken carcass (I usually have one or two kicking around the freezer)
1 large onion, halved
3-4 cloves garlic
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup parsley (give or take)
8-10 peppercorns

In a very large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the chicken carcass, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Fill the pot with water to about 5cm below capacity. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for 2-4 hours. 

Allow to cool for 30 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve. I store mine in plastic bags, or containers in the fridge for 3-4 days or the freezer for 2-3 months.

It's really that easy, folks.


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