One of the easiest things to make is homemade chicken stock. Once you make your own, it’ll be really hard to go back to the stuff in a can (or a box).
I posted a picture on my Facebook page the other day, saying last night’s roasted chicken was today’s chicken soup. Even if you don’t want to make stock the day after you’ve roasted a chicken, just throw it in your freezer when you have some spare time. There was a time where I was hoarding carcasses in our freezer until I had some time to cook it all down. That’s kind of gross, I guess.
So here are some of the basics of making your own chicken stock (also the same for making turkey stock, but beef is a whole other ball game):
- Drop your carcass (which has had the majority of the meat picked off) into a large pot. I use my pasta pot because it has the nice colander insert which makes straining later on a cinch.
- Add your aromatics (for last weekend’s batch, I used onions, celery, peppercorns, a head of garlic, fresh parsley and some salt). You want to stay away from vegetables that will really break apart (so no potatoes, broccoli, etc.) and no strongly-flavored herbs (no basil or rosemary). I’ve also used dill before and that’s been great.
- Fill the pot to the top with water and leave a little room for it to boil. Bring it up to a roaring boil, and cover and dial it back to a good simmer (that’s about a 4 on my stove). Simmer for a couple of hours until the liquid is a rich, brown color. Pull out all the chicken bones, vegetables and herbs and set aside to cool.
- Now you can do two things: put the whole pot in your fridge for the next day. After its cooled, the stock will have a light layer of fat on top. Skim that all off them divvy the broth into a bunch of freezer-friendly dishes. OR you can do what I did, which is just turn it immediately into chicken soup (which I’ll explain tomorrow!)