Jan 30, 2012

Make Ahead Monday: Chicken Stock

I always feel a little guilty throwing away my chicken bones/turkey bones.  Seems like the "pioneerish" side of me should be putting those things to better use.  Perhaps some of you have never had a second thought about tossing chicken bones into the garbage.  Well maybe this will peak your interest.  You know how when you are at the grocery store or Sams Club and they have those divine smelling rotisserie chickens or the grocery store has whole chickens on sale for a smokin deal and you can't resist?  Well I think I am the number one fan of roast chicken.  It has been my favorite food since I was a kid.  One thing that I am not so fond of is carving said bird.  I am a terrible chicken carver/turkey carver.  Because of that I always end up with lots of bits and pieces left on the bone.  Since discovering/reinventing this way to make chicken stock I no longer feel like that is a problem.  I look at it like extra flavor for a super batch of chicken stock.  The original recipe for this comes from the America's Test Kitchen Cookbook (don't you just love them).  I revised the recipe since the original calls for raw chicken parts and I am never going to be buying raw chicken parts just to make stock.  So this recipe is made with leftovers from that big chicken dinner you had.  The smell and flavor are excellent.  Did I mention it can be frozen for later use?
The recipe:
2 chicken carcasses (sorry to use that word but you know what I mean-the whole body, and any extra bones, meat, skin etc.)
1 medium onion
2 bay leaves or 1 tbsp of crushed bay
2 quarts water
1 tbsp oil
dash of salt and pepper if desired.

Begin by chopping your onion (doesn't have to be minced-it is just for flavor)
Heat oil in a large stock pot.  Add onion and saute until translucent.
Add all chicken parts and cover with a lid.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20-30 minutes.  If it seems like the chicken is burning rather than slowly browning reduce your heat.  You basically are sweating it out.  After your 20 minutes increase heat to medium high, add 2 quarts of warm water, the bay and the salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then cover, and reduce heat to medium to simmer for another 20 minutes.  When the time is up, remove from heat and cool.  Once cool place a large measuring cup or bowl under a sieve and pour stock through to strain off the onion and all the chicken meat and parts.  Now you can throw them away feeling like you got everything out of them.  Refrigerate the stock in order for the fat to rise to the surface.  Skim off fat.  You should have about 6 cups of stock.  I pour mine into baggies in 2 cup proportions.  I do this by putting a bag in a 2 cup measuring cup like this: 
 I fill it up to the 2 cup mark plus a bit more to make up for any wrinkles in the bag.  Place bags in a shallow dish and freeze until firm.  Having them lay flat like this makes them easier to store in your freezer in most cases.
That is it.  Really not complicated and so delicious.  And can I just say the smell of your house while making this is heavenly.
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  1. Your chicken stock idea and recipe is great! We thought you might be interested in checking out our 7 Ways to Use Rotisserie Chicken, http://bit.ly/ykBZWr, from Simply Delicious Meals. Let us know if you try it and thanks for shopping at Sam’s Club! – Carrie from Sam’s Club

  2. I put a sweet potato in my stock, it added a really nice flavor. I have used lemons too. Tangy!!!! Brother


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