How To: Chicken Stock

16 09 2008

(Excuse the bad lighting in half of these photos, it was night time and my kitchen lighting is not made for photography for some reason.)

I have started a set over at Flickr all about how I have learned to be cheap as well as lazy (most importantly: lazy) in the kitchen. I am not at all sure what I should call it and I am looking for suggestions. As much as I like simply “Cheap and Lazy in the Kitchen” I am not at all sure it’s what I want. Post a comment with your spectacular (or not so) ideas.

In the mean time, here’s a tutorial I could not fit into just one photo. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, but I am, after all, mildly self-absorbed, so indulge me.

ready to boil

I throw into the pot one entire chicken (heart, liver, etc included! it’s good for you!), fresh herbs if I have them (in this case, sage and rosemary), celery, carrots (the tops, too, if I have them), quartered onions, garlic which I have whacked once with my knife (only because I believe it lets out the “garlicky” best), pepper, and fill it up with water. I never use salt b/c I like to use my broth for things like rice and sometimes pastas and I have found that putting salt in the water when cooking dried foods makes them take longer to cook. Which goes against my philosophy of “lazy”. I can sit for four hours to cook broth, but rice dammit better be done on time. There is no logic to my logic.

Anyway, I let it boil away for about 4 hours, adding water if necessary.

draining the broth

Place a colander in a bowl and pour the boiled contents in. I am terrified that one day I will forget the bowl and pour my broth down the drain.

At this point, I pick all the chicken meat off the bones and put into a bowl to cool. Once cooled I can either use it for meals that week, or else I can shred it and place it in portions in freezer bags for easy and quick meals (mix with enchilada sauce for enchiladas, with barbecue sauce for sandwiches, toss in soup, etc).

to freeze

After letting the stock cool in the fridge, I take off the top layer of fat and pour the rest into containers to freeze. I love freezing in ice cube trays because sometimes I need small amounts of stock, like when I make “Butter” Sauce for pasta. Or I can measure them + water to make the right amount of liquid to cook rice or etc. I also save some stock in one-cup increments, to make soups or rice dishes without having to think. I freeze these in used butter or hummus containers (i.e. fancy-people tupperware).

frozen

Once fully frozen, bag it, label it, and toss it in the freezer. Life is good. Stock is a lot of work, yes. And that does go against my “lazy” principles. However, it is much cheaper to do it this way, much healthier, and less wasteful. I am down with all of those things. And cooking couscous or rice in this broth makes me feel like I got some nutrition into my kids. So yay.

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One response

16 09 2008
Jess

you mean it doesn’t have to come from a box???

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