I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend! Chris and I hung out with some friends last night at dinner and went bowling for the first time in years — so fun. We spent a majority of the time though packing and breaking down our gargantuan L-shaped desk in my office…we were on a mission to part ways with the desk since it was torn up from our last move. Overall, it was a really nice weekend – great friends, good food and lots of laughs. Tonight, we are about to sit down for dinner (takeout, didn’t feel like cooking) and watch The Next Iron Chef but I wanted to post a quick recipe for homemade chicken stock!
This stock is delicious, EASY and SO much more flavorful than any store bought…plus you don’t have to worry about extra sweeteners or preservatives they may throw in there. You also get to control the amount of sodium if that is something of a concern for you.
I used to throw away the chicken bones and pieces after eating a rotisserie chicken but with a little extra effort, I have homemade and healthy broth that can used as a base for soups or in any recipe calling for chicken broth/stock (risottos, casseroles, sauces, etc). It freezes well too so you have homemade stock ready to go at any moment!
Homemade Chicken Stock
1 chicken carcass (I used the bones from a rotisserie chicken I bought – it’s ok if there are still pieces of meat left on)
2 carrots, halved
2 stalks of celery, halved
1 large onion, quartered
1 to 1 1/2 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
1 tsp peppercorns
3 sprigs of fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)
4-6 cloves garlic, unpeeled and cut in half
10 cups water
1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and heat on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the water. Turn heat down to medium low so the liquid maintains low, gentle simmer. Skim the foam from the stock with a spoon every 15 minutes for the first hour of cooking. Let simmer for 3-4 hours uncovered. If the water level gets low, add a half cup or full cup of water if needed.
2. Remove from heat, strain and discard all bones, vegetables and solid through a colander or sieve.
3. Chill the strained stock overnight or for 8 hours. Skim the top of the surface for fat and discard. Use stock immediately in a recipe or freeze in batches for up to 3 months. Prior to use, bring to boil for 2 minutes and use as usual.
Makes about 7-8 cups stock
Pretty easy, right? Enjoy!
Recipe Note: When the stock is refrigerated, a well-made stock will turn into a jelly-like substance instead of a liquid like the boxed variety from the store. THIS IS A GOOD THING. I about freaked out when this happened the first time, but after doing my research, I discovered this means that all the gelatin has been absorbed from the bones…that’s where the flavor is!!! When you heat the stock, it will turn into a liquid as you are used to 🙂
Also, my stock became a little cloudy (whoops!)…I wasn’t watching the pot and it turned into a full boil. From what I’ve read, the cloudiness can be a result from letting the liquid come to a full boil so keep an eye on your pot the first 15 minutes if you are worried about aesthetics…it tastes fantastic either way though!
*If you are serving a turkey this Thanksgiving, don’t throw out the turkey legs, wings and neck!!! You could make a homemade turkey stock that will be delicious, just substitute the turkey wing/leg/neck for the chicken.