Sunday, January 31, 2010

Making Your Own Chicken Stock

Making your own chicken stock takes some time, but it's very easy to do. Set aside a few hours on a Saturday to get this done. There is no comparison between homemade stock and store-bought varieties. If you have a leftover chicken carcass anyway, why not put it to good use and make some rich, flavorful stock for another meal? Your homemade stock can be refrigerated for a few days, or frozen for a few months. If you plan to freeze it, it's a good idea to do so in one or two cup portions. That way, you can thaw only what you need.

The first step in making homemade stock is to roast the vegetables. This exaggerates their flavors and gives the stock its rich, golden color and flavor.

Use whatever vegetables you need to use up. Today, I used 3 carrots, a large onion, a head of garlic, four shitake mushrooms, and a handful of green onions. Don't peel the veggies. Leave everything on, even the skin of the onion and garlic.

Dump them all in a 9x11" baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Roast at 425 degrees for about an hour.

Next, cut up your chicken carcass. Don't be bad like me and leave all this meat on the bones! Use the meat in other recipes. Cut up the chicken. Separate it at the joints. Dump the chicken into a large stock pot.

When the vegetables are done roasting, dump them into the pot with the chicken.

Add a whole bunch of fresh parsley. Don't bother taking the stems off or chopping it. Just dump it in. Throw in some salt and pepper and a crumbled dried bay leaf. Fill it to within 3" of the top of the pot with water. Bring to a boil.

Skim the foam off the top as the soup starts to boil. Then, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about two hours.

Remove from heat and pour the soup through a colander. Discard the chicken and veggies.

Then, line the colander with cheesecloth and strain the broth. You'll collect some funky-looking gunk on the cloth, and your broth will be golden and pristine.

Now, let it cool, then package it and store it in the fridge or freezer.

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