Saturday, January 16, 2010

Using Homemade Chicken Stock: How and Why



 This week one of my goals was to make Kitchen Stewardship's homemade chicken stock recipe.  I started it very early on Monday morning and let it simmer the entire day (about 14 hours).  I used some of it to make her Chicken Barley Leek Soup and froze the rest in 1 cup servings.

Procedure

I did mine a bit different than KS.  Here is what I did:
On Sunday I oven roasted two large chickens.  One we had for dinner and the other I picked.  I put the picked chicken in two separate zip-loc bags.  One I put in the fridge to use in my soup.  The other I froze to use for chicken tacos, chicken and rice, or more chicken soup.  I put the picked chickens in the refrigerator because I wanted to start my stock the next morning.  On Monday morning I got started.  Here are my steps in numbered order:
1.  Placed chicken bones in bottom of large stock pot.
2.  Added 4 quarts of cold water and 3 Tbs of vinegar.
3.  Let the chicken bones soak for 1 hour.
4.  Brought to a boil.  Removed scummy stuff that rose to the top.
5.  Reduced heat and simmer for 14 hours.  (You can simmer for 4-24 hours.  Longer is better).
6.  One hour before the stock was finished, I added some carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.
7.  About 10 minutes before stock was finished I added a some fresh tarragon.
8.  Once the stock was finished, I strained it into a large bowl.  I placed the bowl in the fridge.  As the stock cools, a layer of fat will congeal on the top.  You can skim this off or not.
9.  Used some of the stock to make soup and froze the rest.

Very easy and made my house smell really yummy!

Results

It was very simple to do.  The taste is quite flavorful.  However, I did not get much gelatin to form on the top of mine.  I know this sounds strange, but the gelatin contains important immunity boosters, so you want it.  

Changes

Next time,  I am going to make a bigger batch.  If I can work up the nerve, I may even try using chicken feet (instead of the chicken bones) to increase the amount of gelatin. Kitchen Stewardship also reports that you can boil down the stock to form more gelatin.

Uses

Chicken stock can be used instead of water when making rice and beans.  It can also be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and to make your own cream soups.  Here is  list of recipes using chicken stock

Why

For those of you who are wondering why in the world I don't just buy chicken stock, here are just a few reasons:
  • Health benefits - boosts immune systems, aids digestions, provides easily digestible minerals
  • Cost - less expensive than buying quality stock
  • Environmentally friendly - "recycling" the chicken, no packaging or shipping involved
For more info, read this post about the health and nutrition of homemade stocks/broths.  Once you read this, you will be pulling out your stock pot and saving your chicken bones.

Do you use stocks in your cooking?  If so, share your recipes and ideas with us!

4 comments:

Annette said...

Another good reason is taste! :)

I prefer to roast a chicken and put some leftovers in the freezer. I will roast two next time to try it!

Raising a Happy Child said...

I recently discovered a perfect method for me - crockpot chicken broth - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-broth-in-a-slow-cooker/detail.aspx. I set everything the night before, and in the morning I have my soup - just exactly what my busy schedule needs.

Shelley said...

I will give this a try.
My broth is usually cloudy..maybe this will work better.

Tara Rison said...

Raising a Happy Child ~ Thanks for sharing that link. I will have to try that next time!

Shelley ~ Let me know how it turns out for you.