I wish you could have been in my kitchen as this stock was simmering on the stove top! You could really smell the taste of warm chicken noodle soup, quinoa pilaf, chicken pot pie and so many other recipes that can benefit from a wholesome homemade stock recipe.
Chicken stock can be a blessing during the colder months as it will help when you have a cold or the flu – yes, it really does have some healing properties! And let’s be honest, chicken soup is really and truly good for the soul – and good for little ones too!
So without further ramblings, here is how I make chicken stock.
1 chicken carcass – don’t toss that carcass from your fab roasted chicken dinner, re-purpose it!
16 cups (4 quarts) of water
3 large carrots – washed, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large stalks of celery – washed and roughly chopped
1 large onion – peeled and chopped
3 cloves of roasted garlic
5-10 shakes of pepper – depending on your taste
1-2 teaspoons of salt – again, depending on your taste. This is really a minimal amount of salt for 16 cups of liquid
10 oregano leaves
3 shakes of thyme
5 sage leaves
In a large stock pot, combing all ingredients, save the herbs
Bring ingredients to a rolling boil then lower heat to keep the stock on a gentle simmer – simmer for approx. 45 minutes to 1 hour
Check the stock often and stir often
After the initial time has passed, add the herbs and continue to simmer.
Taste test all the way through and skim off any ick if need be. Once veggies have become tender enough to fall apart and 2 hours or so has passed, the stock is done.
Remove the stock from the heat and allow to cool for 1/2 hour – skim off the ick/fat then strain, return liquid to the pot.
Now what you do from here is your choice! I pick through the chicken and save any pieces that are edible so I can make chicken soup. I also try and save the veggies that remain to add to the chicken soup I will make.
Freeze the stock in portions that you will easily be able to use without much waste. I find freezing in 1 cup increments works best.
Ways to use the stock
You can use stock as a base for soups and stews and even chili
Stock may be used as a replacement for water in any grain recipe such as rice, quinoa, barley etc.
Stock may also be used when making legumes such as black-eyed peas or even when making lentils (dal)
Stock is great to use in homemade stuffing recipes – sub out 1/2 the water with stock.
For babies – bring on the stock however you please! Babies can have chicken soup or lentils or rice cooked in stock. Using stock is a great way to introduce more flavors to baby and to add some pizazz to the same ole’ boring rice.