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Monday, November 22, 2010

How to make homemade chicken stock


With the holidays coming up and a half a rotisserie chicken from Costco in the fridge on the verge of having to be thrown out, I decided to try out making my own chicken stock.  Of course you can buy this stuff in a can or carton but it will never have the rich flavor by doing it yourself.  As an added bonus it gives your whole house the aroma of Thanksgiving turkey in the oven as a little foreshadow of things to come.

I started with my remaining chicken and chopped off the wings, leg and split the rest of the chicken in half and placed it in the biggest pot I own.  I then filled it up with enough cold water to just barely cover the chicken. 

Note: you can also use raw chicken/turkey for this as well.  Any parts work what you are extracting is the collagen from the bones and meat which is what gives you your rich flavor.

Next I added a handful of baby carrots, 2 stalks of celery (broken in half), 1 onion (quartered), 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, 2 bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of dried parsley and sage (fresh herbs are better bit there was nothing left in my garden)


After you have all your ingredients in turn the temperature to medium and adjust until you have a soft boil.  This should be producing minimal bubbles and just a hint of steam.  If you are seeing something different increase/decrease the temperature as appropriate.

Once you have the right temperature stir occasionally and add hot water if the water level evaporated exposing the ingredients.  If you see some “scum” on the top of the surface use a mesh strainer or a large spoon to scrape this off the surface, though if you are cooking a rotisserie chicken like I was there shouldn’t be much scum on the surface.

After about 6-8 hours your chicken stock will be done.  You will know this if you take one of the bones (which meat will also fall off of) and bend it, it will be brittle and break.  This is caused because of the lack of collagen in the bones.

Next you need to separate the stock from the chunky ingredients.  I do this by first dumping the contents of my pot into a colander with a bowl overnight.  This removed the biggest chucks but you will still see some pieces of herbs and meat fall through.

I dispose of the captured chunks, pour the liquid back into the pot and repeat the process again this time placing a couple of layers of cheesecloth on top of the colander to remove the smaller chunkies.


At this point you could throw this pot of hot liquid in your refrigerator, though depending on the amount you have created this could lead to dangerously raising your refrigerator temperature and allowing your stock to be in a dangerous zone (40F-140F) which can be a breeding oasis for bacteria.  To get around this I place my bowl in a sink full of ice water for about 30 minutes stirring every 5-10 minutes.  This will chill down your stock quickly and get it down to a temperature where you can safely move to your refrigerator.  If you are creating a large quantity of stock (2 gallons+) you may want to consider using a cooler filled with ice instead.


Leave your stock in the refrigerator overnight at this point it should look (and taste) like some like some meat flavored Jell-O.  There may be a layer of poultry fat on the very top which you can remove and throw away or use for other cooking.


For storage I scooped 1/2 a cup of stock which confidently fit into the holes of a muffin tin pan nicely. 


I covered these with plastic wrap and froze and after a few hours, I removed the frozen stock puck by gently pressing from the bottom of the tin to pop them out.


Finally I marked a freezer bag and put my yummy stock into the freezer where it will keep for about  months for use in gravies, soups, etc.  Though with the precautions you should have minimalized bacteria growth…though just to be safe you should always boil the stock for 2 minutes before using.


After smelling chicken in the air all day Saturday my oldest daughter insisted I make some homemade soup.  Which was enough by taking 1 cup of chicken stock, a small can of chicken, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon parsley to a pot and boil for 2 minutes.  Pour over a couple cups of cooked noodles and some instant soup for a could winter day.


1 comment:

gowshika said...

Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

Chicken Rotisseries