23 November 2010

Chicken Stock

I've been saving chicken carcasses for a while (what a weird statement) in hopes of one day making my own chicken stock.  My biggest issue was trying to find a time where I could be home all day to keep my eye on it.  That day finally came, so I took my carcasses out of the freezer and got to work.

I put all my ingredients in a 12-quart stockpot and brought it up to a boil.  I didn't really take that many pictures because most of the steps look the same, for the most part.  What I wish I could share is the amazing aroma the filled the house.  It reminded me a lot of Thanksgiving, only about ten times better.

After simmering for about 6 hours, I strained out the solids and packaged the stock in some 1-quart Ziplock containers.

It was really quite easy to make the stock, albeit a little time consuming.  Plus, it is really cost effective, since a quart of good quality chicken stock at the grocery store usually costs about $3.50.  The question is, what is the first thing I should make using my own chicken stock?

Chicken Stock
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Printable Recipe

4 pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs
1 large onion, quartered
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2
4 ribs celery, cut in 1/2
1 leek, white part only, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
10 sprigs fresh thyme
10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
2 bay leaves
8 to 10 peppercorns
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 gallons cold water

Place chicken, vegetables, and herbs and spices in 12-quart stockpot. Set opened steamer basket directly on ingredients in pot and pour over water. Cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the liquid. Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon or fine mesh strainer every 10 to 15 minutes for the first hour of cooking and twice each hour for the next 2 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours.

Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot or heatproof container discarding the solids. Cool immediately in large cooler of ice or a sink full of ice water to below 40 degrees. Place in refrigerator overnight. Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and store in container with lid in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months. Prior to use, bring to boil for 2 minutes. Use as a base for soups and sauces.

1 comment:

  1. Talk about nourishing and sure to pump up the flavor of any culinary creation you decide to make Luke! You honored those chickens to the bone!



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