Thursday, March 15, 2012

DIY Chicken Stock

We like chicken.
A lot.
Our dinners usually consist of either roasts, 93/7 ground beef or chicken breast.  Seems pretty boring, but we actually get pretty creative.
Every once in a while, I will buy whole chickens when they are on super sale and roast them.  Sometimes we eat just roasted chicken, sometimes we "harvest" the meat, pull it, and freeze it for easy dinners later (quesadillas?  Enchiladas?  Soups?).  I used to throw the bones away, but I started making my own chicken stock and can't believe I haven't done it before.  It is SO easy and I trick myself into thinking it's free because we really bought the chicken for its meat.  Like it even more.
Here is how.

First, prepare and cook your bird (i.e. rinse and take out insides.  I suppose you could use the insides for your stock, but I think they are geeee-ross).  You can roast it, or you can cook it in a crockpot all day with any yummy seasoning you like.  I usually dump garlic, onion powder, parsley, lemon pepper, salt, normal pepper, paprika, and anything else I see in my spice cab.  If you cook it in a crockpot, fill the bottom of the pot with 2 inches of water before cooking.  Cook on low for 12+ hours.

Second, take off the meat.  Eat it or freeze it.  Save all the skin, bones, and etc.  Leave the extra juices in the crock pot.

Put the bones and etc. back into the crock pot.  Add:
  • 4 peeled and quartered whole carrots
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 quartered stock celery
  • GARLIC (i used like 5 tbps of pre-minced.  Don't judge)
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 Bay Leaves
Pour enough water to fill it to the top.  Cook on low 12 hours.  I did this overnight.  Nothing like waking up to fresh brewed chicken stock.

Pour through a sieve into a separate bowl.  Toss all of the "bits".  You should be left with pure stock!

Chill in the fridge and skim off the fat from the top once it's hardened (the fat, not the stock).
I freeze them in ice cube trays or separate freezer bags so that I can use different parts at different times without waste.

And there you go.  DIY stock.  We ended up making some killer chicken tortilla soup.  If only everything else in life were so easy.
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