Friday, April 6, 2012

Homemade Chicken Stock

      I always save the bones from when we have any type of roast chicken. After most of the meat has been taken off the bones, I just stick them in a large soup pot, cover them with water and seasonings. In a couple hours I have chicken stock for almost nothing (much more cost effective than buying the cans or boxes of broth/stock at the store).

Here's how I do it:
Leftover chicken bones and meat, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, dill, parsley, whole black peppercorns, seasoned salt, 2 bay leaves, and a large stock pot
 Wash the veggies. Cut the celery (I think I had about 4 stalks and leaves) and 4 carrots into thirds. Quarter one onion - no need to peel it. Cut one bulb of garlic in half horizontally, to expose all the cloves - no need to peel this either.
     Put the bones in the pot. Dump in 1 Tbsp each whole peppercorns, seasoned salt, dry thyme, and dry parsley. 1 tsp dry dill weed and 2 bay leaves., along with all the prepared veggies.
Put all the ingredients in a large stock pot.

Cover with water.
  Put the pot on the stove with the lid on and bring up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 - 4 hours (depending on how long you have). - Tonight I did mine for 3 hours.
 After a couple hours, strain the stock (my wonderfully generous husband did this for me). Be careful! It's very hot!!

Now you have the veggies, bones and meat left over. I pick all the meat out and use it for soup or chicken 'n dumplin's or chicken pot pie . . . You get the idea. The veggies and bones go in the trash. They've given all they can.

And you have this beautiful stock left over.
If you need it right away, you can skim the top now, to get the extra fat off.

I usually do this a day or two before I need it, so I just put it in the fridge and remove the "fat cap" (the solidified fat that floats to the top and hardens when cold) right before I need it.
It will keep in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for months. A great staple to have on hand!

Here's the recipe this time (I never make it the same way twice. I usually have the same ingredients, but the amounts vary depending on what I have and what I need to use.:

Homemade Chicken Stock

2 chicken carcases
4 carrots cut into thirds
4 ribs of celery with leaves, cut into thirds
1 onion, unpeeled and quartered
1 bulb of garlic, unpeeled and cut in half horizontally
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 Tbsp seasoned salt
1 Tbsp dry thyme
1 Tbsp dry parsley
1 tsp dry dill weed
2 dry bay leaves
enough water to cover

Put all ingredients into a large stock pot and cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 4 hours. Strain.

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