Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cooking class: Chicken stock


Good stock is the foundation of flavor for any good soup. If you ask most folks where stock comes from, they'd say the grocery store. And for too many folks, this is the truth. Stock isn't too hard to make, and it uses the whole chicken.The ingredient that seems to be the greatest limiter is time. I tend to do my longer cooking projects on the weekend, but if even that it asking too much of your schedule, try making your stock in the slow cooker. You start the stock after dinner and it is ready before work the next morning!

My dad is the best soup maker. Immediately following thanksgiving dinner, he is working on his stock. All of the extra meat is removed from the turkey bones and set aside. Once the stock has simmered for a few hours, he will set the pot on the back porch to cool. This draws the fat to the surface and allows it to be skimmed off easily.

Chicken Stock
  • Bones and left-over bits from 1 or more roasted chickens or turkeys
  • 1-2 onions - no need to peel
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic - no need to peel
  • 2 stalks celery, washed and chopped into a few chunks
  • 2 carrots, chunked
  • Herbs, if you wish: parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Fresh and dried are both just fine
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large pot, add the chicken carcass and bit. Add your veggies and herbs. Add enough water to barely cover everything and bring to a boil.
  2. For the first hour, occasionally skim off any gunk that come to the surface occasionally. Continue to simmer for another 2-3 hours and then let cool. 
  3. Pour broth through cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer to remove all solids from your broth.
  4. As for storage, we tend to use quart jars. Pinterest has many more ideas though - muffin tins, ice-cube trays, plastic quart freezer bags, etc. Think about what you will use the stock for and see what makes sense for your kitchen. Make sure to label and date your stock. 
These veggies are flavor!
Use the whole chicken

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