Friday, January 15, 2010

Homemade Chicken Stock

The pot is ready to simmer on the stove.

The final product: 15 cups of delicious homemade stock.

I make lots of soups and other dishes that call for chicken stock, and I most frequently take the easy way out and buy a box of Emeril's or Whole Foods Chicken Broth. But when I saw Perdue meaty roasters on sale for 99 cents/lb., I thought I'd make some chicken stock. Like many of you, my vegetable drawer is full of odds and ends so I didn't have to buy anything else to make my stock. In addition, though the ingredient list looks long, it takes all of 6 minutes to roughly chop the vegetables and toss everything in the pot. My 12-year-old actually did most of the work, though she refuses to touch raw poultry, so I had to do that part.

After simmering for a few hours, I cooled and strained the stock. Then I placed it back in the stockpot and refrigerated it overnight.

The next day, I skimmed the fat off the top and packaged it in 1-cup containers. Why 1-cup? Partly because this was the only size I had, and partly because I planned to freeze the stock, and thought it would be easy to defrost just the amount I need at any given time.

This stock will certainly come in handy next week, when I'm taking part in Garden Grocery Gadget Girl's "Pantry Throwdown" - cooking only from the pantry, fridge and freezer all week.

Homemade Chicken Stock
Makes about 15 cups

2 extra meaty roasters, about 5# each (or any combination of chicken parts)
2 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
4 carrots, unpeeled and halved
2 stalks of celery, cut in thirds
20 sprigs of parsley
15 sprigs of thyme
10 sprigs of dill
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
1 1/2 T. kosher salt
1 1/2 t. whole black peppercorns
5 quarts of water

Place all of the ingredients in a very large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim any foam that comes to the surface, lower the heat and simmer for 4 hours.

Strain the contents of the pot through a fine mesh colander, discarding the solids (this did seem like a big waste of chicken to me, so we saved some of that and ate it). Refrigerate the stock overnight. The next day, remove the fat from the surface and discard. Pack the stock in containers and store in the fridge or freezer.

Stock will last for 5 days in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer.

Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics.

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