Thursday, January 2, 2014

Three Reasons to make your own chicken stock

There are 3 main reasons I like making my own stock, rather then, buying canned broth. 

I use a lot of chicken broth, my motto is if water is good chicken broth would probably be better. Since every thing in my stock are  things that would be thrown out it saves a significant amount of money

Saving money on chicken meat.  Many of my friends don't like to buy meat on the bone cuz, a) they don't like to eat it off the bone and b) they feel like they are paying for wast, that they just have to throw out. This is understandable  but whole chicken ( at least around here) is like the price of boneless breast peaces ( i will talk about braking down a chicken later)

Then there is the quality, the quality is much better when you make it from scratch. There is just this rick gelatin like thickness you get from home made that just isn't there in watery canned broth.  And most importantly you have control over what goes in it; avoiding salt you can ad as much or as little as you like, by only organic, then your broth will be organic, (I think, I am not 100% about the rule), point is knowledge is power.

WARNING! this tutorial gets a Touch Graphic, making chicken stock is not very pretty, but if your brave its quite rewarding.

Well your going to need a bag of left over chicken parts, it takes me a while to collect this many so I store mine in the freezer.  I am not always good about labeling stuff but this is a good place to start.
save skin, bone, giblets, any part you won't/didn't eat, either before or after your have cooked it, it's all fine.

You will also need celery  onions and carrots ( I was out of carrots so i left them out, its not a big deal). You can use ends and not so pretty pieces of your veggies if you have them, but i wouldn't bother freezing them to save with the chicken, i think they would  lose too much flavor.
Then just fill you largest pot with chickeny goodness and add water just to cover the bones. It looks like i have too much in this pot but they settled as they defrosted, it is important for the bones to be under the water.

bring to a bare simmer
If it doesn't simmer at all, you won't get any of the flavor out, and of it boils to hard your broth will be murky.
You may have to stick a colander  or  something to keep the bones under like I did here with a piece of tin foil to make it fit. and just let it go for 5 or 6 hours adding more hot water if to much evaporates 
"How will I know it's done?" good question. Take out a bone, looks like a thigh bone and if it snaps easily and feels soft in your hand, it's done!
You might want to turn in off and let it cool a bit before  straining, so you don't burn yourself, but don't let it cool all the way.
This is what you get  when it was strained a second time, this time with cheese cloth . This is optional... some options are better then others.
Your going to want to salt your broth, putting none in will make it a little hard to adjust  your seasoning when it comes to using the broth later.
Now let it cool enough to put in the refrigerator, which will be so much easier if you didn't make two bathtubs worth of the stuff, but whatever.
Once it is chilled it will be all pretty like this!!! that is fat!!!!
All the fat is at the top and pretty solid, ( tip: cooling your broth in a narrower vessel will make the fat layer thicker and easier to remove).  Just scrape it off with a spoon.

You can either save this ... or throw it out. ( if you do save  it I would put in back in the freezer). I throw it a way. but not down the sink it is very bad for the pipes.
There is your finished stock, with a world of soup sauces and whatever else awaiting it. 
If its done right your stock should have this very jelly consistency when cool. hear it is supporting the wait of a spoon, MAGIC. This means it was cooked enough an didn't have to much water added. if yours is looser then this you can reboil and reduce it.

Storage Options!!!
There are many many ways to store this. It also depends on how much broth you made. 
I fill ice cube trays with my stock

Then place wax paper  ( or parchment ) between the trays.
Then once frozen place them  in labeled bags in the freezer. 

HomeMade Chicken Stock

  • 1 pot of full chicken bones and skin
  • 1 gallon water
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 head of celery
  • pintch salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Take your largest pot, or the pot that will comfortably fit all your chicken parts.
  2. Fill with your parts.
  3. On top of that add you carrots and celery broken in half, and onion cut in half, (you don't have to remove the paper from your onion just make sure there is no dirt on anything.) placing the vegetables on top helps to keep the bones underwater which is important.
  4. Fill the pot up with water till your bones are just covered.
  5. Bring water to just a simmer.
  6. If your bones start to float out push them down with a strainer or a spoon.
  7. Let simmer for 3 to 5 hours or until a thigh bone can be easily be broken in your hand and feels soft a pliable.
  8. Once your broth reachs this stage, you will want to carefully strain out all the bits and discard them.
  9. At this point you can strain your stock again with cheese cloth to remove any debris but this is totally optional.
  10. This is the point at which you want to salt your stock.
  11. Now you will want to let your broth cool and put in the frig once it's cooled down.
  12. Once it's chilled the fat will have settled ta top an can be scraped away. And either reserved or discarded.
*Your broth should have a gelatin like consistency when cooled if not you can re boil it.
*I made a very large batch, but this can be done in any amount, and I would think you could do this with a small amount in a crock pot. 
*Because of how long they will be cooked both raw and cooked bones and skin can be cooked together.