Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Chicken Stock

on April 14, 2013

Now I already mentioned making my chicken stock in a post about canning. I mentioned the things I tossed in the pot but didn’t really give much of a recipe. This time I thought I’d give something resembling a recipe. Now, this is a really big recipe, I used a 20 quart pot, but you can scale it down very easily. 🙂

Recipe

Chicken bones from a rotisserie chicken (I used six carcasses)

3 large carrots

4 ribs of celery

3 large chard leaves

8 mushrooms

1 head of garlic, skin left on, cut in half horizontally

2 onions, skin left on, cut in half horizontally

3 large bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

When I peel a chicken, I like to save all the bones. I was as Costco last week and got six rotisserie chickens. I like them because they’ve already been roasted, they’re cheaper than buying a whole, fresh, uncooked chicken and they taste good. Making stock is a good way to cook out the last of the yumminess from the bones and save money buying stock at the store.

Take a pot (in this case, a 20 qt pot) toss in the bones. After that you can pretty much put in what you want. In this case I didn’t use potatoes because I didn’t have any but you can do so. You can buy in anything you want to flavor the stock with. Unlike broth, stock should have a nice, rich flavor that is more than just chicken.

Don’t worry about peeling the veggies. Just wash the dirt off and cut them small enough to go in the pan. Don’t take the skin off the garlic or onions, it gives extra flavor.

For seasoning, I keep it simple with just bay leaves, salt, and pepper but again, you can add other stuff if you want. Fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and sage are all good too. You want to use just enough to accent the flavor of the chicken without overwhelming it.

Once you have everything in the pot, fill the pot with water and put it on the stove over medium low heat. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the temperature to very low. Cover it and let is simmer for a day or two. Yes, I did say a day or two. This batch simmered for two days before I shut it off. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that you make sure you’ve gotten every tiny bit of goodness out of the chicken bones. The other is that I usually don’t have room in the fridge for this big of a pot and it lets me avoid trying to put it away to cool.

So once it’s done, strain the stock. I use a big wire mesh strainer and a piece of cheese cloth. I put the strainer over another large pot (16 qts I think), doubled the cheese cloth and lined the strainer. Then, I put my big burly man to work. A pot this big is HEAVY! So he was kind enough to slowly pour the contents of the pot into the strainer. Once I had all the chunky bits in the strainer, I gave them a squeeze to get the last bit of goodness out and then threw them away.

First off, let the stock cool before you do this part. Nothing sucks so much as having hot stock splash all over you.

Some people (like my mom) think you should be able to save the solids and use them for something else. You shouldn’t. ALL the goodness is now in the stock. The chicken bones have had all the collagen cooked out and will now crumble in your hands. The tiny bits of meat and the veggies are nothing but mush with very little flavor and a rather icky texture. Throw this stuff out or toss it on the compost pile.

Finally, it’s time to chill the stock. Make sure it’s cool enough to put in the fridge. I actually had to leave my pot sitting on the stove for several hours before I could do this. Then I had to put a whole bunch of veggies in a cooler so I had room in the fridge lol. Once the stock is cold, skim off the fat solids that are on top.

Once that’s done, you’ve got a beautiful pot of chicken stock. In my case, since I made so much of it, I’ll be spending the day canning it in quart jars. If you make a smaller batch, it’s now ready to use to make soup, gravy, and anything else you come up with. 😀

Just a quick note to say that I got 12 quarts of stock out of this. And I’m happy to report that every jar sealed 😀

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