January 20, 2013
How many of you make your own stocks? What kind of stocks do you make?
For most of my life, I have had no problem whipping up whatever I feel like in the kitchen, but I really didn't think about the basics like making my own stocks. It seemed easy to just grab stock at the market every time I was there and have a stockpile at home for whenever the need for it struck.
It took showing my KIDS the basics in the kitchen for me to decide to take the leap. And BOY was it ridiculously easy.
#1 I feel fantastic about using up every bit of the carcass from our roast chicken dinner
#2 Most of the ingredients I always have on hand
#3 It is a great lesson for my kids AND they now possess the skill to make chicken stock on their own
#4 I get wonderful stock to use that I feel really good about
#5 Making chicken stock, in my opinion, is extremely flexible, throw the basics in, then whatever you've got...from spices, to an apple, to veggies...whatever. It will come out a-ok!
#6 I can control how I sort and store the stock, so now I feel less wasteful when I only need a bit of stock for something
If you have not made your own chicken stock so far in your life...your assignment by the end of March is to do so :) Why not?? And if you do, I would love to hear about it!
Here's the best part...you just grab what you have and throw...and I mean throw it in a big 'ol pot. No peeling...no prep work. Easy-peasy!
This is the first post in a new category for me called The Basics, I hope you enjoy it and jump in with both feet to try things...simple things that will bring your cooking results to the next level.
Homemade Chicken Stock
-inspired originally by Ina Garten
1 chicken 5 or more pounds (whats left of it after your dinner, don't forget the skin)
1-2 large onions, quartered (no peeling necessary)
2 large carrots...greens and all if they have them or 1 heaping cup of cut carrots
2 celery stalks (often I leave these out if I don't have them on-hand)
Small handful of parsley
1 Bay leaf
1 head of garlic broken up...leave the peels on
1-2 TBS Kosher salt
1 TBS peppercorns
Optional: 1 whole leak and/or a parsnip quartered
Optional: 6 sprigs of Thyme
Place your chicken carcass in a big pot (I use an 8qt pot), throw everything else in all around it (if you have the neck and other parts from the gravy bag...throw them in too). Fill it with enough water to just about cover the chicken (5-6 quarts, depending on the weight of your chicken parts).
Bring to just a boil, them lower heat and simmer 2-3 hours or until you get the flavor you are looking for. Allow it to cool down, then strain the broth pressing down on the solids to extract all the broth you can. Refrigerate overnight, scrape off the solidified fat from the top and freeze in multiple mason jars until ready to use. Use within 3 days if keeping refrigerated or 3 months if frozen.
Tips: If you are using the neck, brown it first on all sides in a pan with a bit of butter. Gives more flavor.
Sometimes I throw a TBS of chicken bullion in the broth for extra flavor.