Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chicken Stock - The Good Stuff

One of my favorite things to have on hand in my kitchen is homemade chicken stock. This stuff, the real stuff, the good stuff, is what you want when you are sick. Its flavor is unmatched by anything you find in the super market. I have been known to use the canned stuff, more than I use hommade actually. But homemade is so much better, and actually very easy to make. It is also very economical.

I don't buy special chicken pieces to make my stock. I buy a lot of bone-in meat, and I save the bones. When I buy a rotisserie chicken at Costco, I save the bones. I have a big bag in my freezer that I add bones to as I go, and when it is full, I make stock. This same method works for turkey, and makes for great stuffing or leftover turkey soup, if you don't get around to it before Thanksgiving.

You will need: A large pot, a colander, and a large bowl. Cheese cloth helps the straining process by catching little bits, but don't fret if you don't have it.

Chicken Bones, at least 1 carcass or a bunch of bones
3 carrots, chopped
2 onions, coarsly chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 Bay Leaves
Whole Peppercorns (sometimes I forget these, and it still tastes pretty good)

If I have them, I add a sprig of fresh thyme and parsley, tied up in cheese cloth. I've used other herbs too, such as sage and  rosemary. They are great, but for a "traditional" taste, it's thyme and parsley.

Put bones in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, skim off the scum that rises to the top. Add the veggies and herbs, return to a simmer for 3-4 hours. To avoid a cloudy broth, don't let it boil, just simmer.

Use it in some of my favorite soups:
Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken & Veggie Soup

Chicken & Noodles (recipe coming soon)

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