Here is something that I mention all the time in my recipes, the Homemade Chicken Stock. I can’t live without it. It’s something so essential, seriously, once you know how to do it, you`ll never buy stock from a box again. In fact, you will smirk every time you see it on the store shelf and go “That stuff? Pff. I make my own…”
If you are interested in eating less processed food – yes, even that organic stock from a cardboard box is very processed, then learn to make this homemade chicken stock, ASAP. An organic label on your processed stock doesn’t always make things healthier. Add loads of salt, MSG (yeast extract = MSG), and other mystery ingredients and your natural food is no longer so natural. Manufacturers will often take advantage of loopholes in labeling laws to mislead you, so be informed.
If you’re pressed for time and can’t roast your bones as shown here, use a rotisserie chicken carcass. The flavor produced is amazing. If I ate more rotisserie chicken, I’d always use the bones this way, but I prefer to roast my own bird. And don’t even think of wasting a whole chicken, meat and bones, to make broth. Eat the meat and throw the bones to make broth. The flavor won’t differ, your wallet will thank you, too.
It can seem like a big production to make the stock, since it does need to simmer for about 4 hours, so why not triple the recipe and freeze it – forget looking for jars, have it cool down and pour straight into large freezer bags. Defrost as needed.
Don’t think you need to memorize these ingredients by heart. As long as you have the chicken bones, an onion, a couple of celery sticks, you can make the stock. I sometimes even make the stock using the bones only – that way my dog can safely drink it (she LOVES it) without getting any onion, or garlic that may harm her.
- 500g of chicken necks and backs (turkey works great too), or 1 roasted chicken carcass, meat removed
- 2 medium onions
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 large garlic clove
- 3 bay leaves
- 4.5L of water
- Begin by adding your chicken, onions, celery, carrots and garlic to a large roasting pan and broil on high until lightly charred. This adds incredible depth to the stock flavor.
- Put into a large pot, I use my workhorse 6qt LeCreuset dutch oven. Pour in the water and add the bay leaves. I don`t add any salt to the broth - when I`m making soup, or stews later each will call for different ingredients, I save the salting for then.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat. We don`t want it to boil for a very long time, just a few minutes - enough to have foam and impurities rise to the surface - skim those off, then reduce the heat to the lowest simmer, cover, and leave for 4 hours.
- Using kitchen tongs and a fine mesh colander, take out the bones and vegetables, set aside in a bowl. We don`t need them anymore - all the flavor was transferred to the stock.
- Then comes my best friend, the gravy separator. You know how stock would go in the fridge overnight so the fat hardens and you can skim it off - well, we don`t need to wait for that.
Here it is, step by step: