Monday, February 4, 2013

Chicken Stock

Chicken stock is definitely a kitchen staple, and something that can be made with very little effort using only leftovers and a few extra vegetables.  A very versatile ingredient, this stock forms the base of many soups (like chicken, butternut, and carrot) as well as providing a more flavorful and nourishing cooking liquid for things like potatoes and quinoa.

We start with a large pot that looks like this...

  • 3 average sized chicken carcasses; picked free of meat
  • 3 large carrots cut into chunks
  • leaves and other leftovers from a head of celery
  • 2 onions, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  1.  Save cleaned chicken carcasses (the leftover bones, skin, etc...from roasted chicken makes excellent fodder for the stock pot) in the freezer until you have enough to make stock.  In my 16 quart stock pot, I prefer to use 3-4 carcasses, but you can always make a smaller amount of stock from a single chicken.
  2. Put carcasses in a large pot and fill with cold water and vinegar.  Bring this just to a boil and reduce to a simmer for several hours, skimming any scum that rises to the surface.
  3. Add vegetables to the pot and bring back to a boil.  Simmer for another 18-24 hours before straining through cheese cloth.  Place the strained stock someplace cool in order for the fat to solidify.  Remove the fat from the stock, bring to a boil again, and then prepare for your recipe or for storage.  I like to store it frozen in pint and quart sized glass jars in my deep freezer.
...and after 24-20 hours of cooking, looks like this.  Ready to strain.

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