Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Homemade Chicken Stock

You may remember from an earlier post that for the month of January I plan on featuring many recipes for soups, stews, and winter salads. One of the key ingredients for soups is a good chicken or beef stock. The taste of soup is soooooo much better with a homemade stock. So before we start making soups, let's begin with getting your refrigerator and freezer stocked up with some broth. No pun intended:-)

There are a couple of alternatives for this recipe. If you would rather use your own chicken instead of using a rotisserie chicken, I recommend using about 4 pounds of raw chicken, cutting it into 2-inch pieces, and browning it in two different batches first. I personally think that using a rotisserie chicken is just plain easier, and more flavorful, but there are definitely advantages of using your own chicken if you like.

Also, if you do not have at least 12 hours to simmer your broth, start by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in your large stockpot and sauteing the onions, carrots, and celery until softened. This will help boost your flavor. I highly recommend simmering your broth for as long as you can though. Trust me. Once you are able to taste the flavor and smell the aroma of broth simmered all day, you will not be happy with broth using a quicker method.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium onion , chopped medium
1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium
2-3 carrots, chopped medium
2-3 celery stalks, chopped medium
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 rotisserie chicken
1 teaspoon salt
5 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Add all the ingredients into a large stockpot then fill the pot with water. All of the ingredients should be adequately submerged in liquid plus some. Heat on high and bring to a boil.


2. Lower heat to low, cover, and simmer. The longer you simmer the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. I would recommend starting your stock first thing in the morning and waiting as long as possible to take it off the heat at the end of the day. (Yes! All day if possible!)

Periodically check on your broth to ensure that the broth is not reducing. If too much water is evaporating, add additional water. I had to add 4 cups of water twice during this process. As a gauge to determine how much water you need, remember that we want the end product to be the same quantity as when you initially started. So refill your water to its original level throughout the day.

3. Defat broth by removing any visible fat on surface of broth. Remove all chicken, bones, and vegetables with a slotted spoon. Here is before.

Here are all the contents removed.
Here is after. You will not be able to get everything with a slotted spoon and for now, that's okay.
4. Strain broth.

5. Store in airtight containers for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or 4-6 months in the freezer. Check out how much broth this makes! You are ready for soup girlfriend!

6. Before using broth, defat stock again. After stock has been refrigerated, the fat hardens on the surface and is very easy to remove with a spoon.

3 comments:

kreativekoosa said...

This is AWESOME! I can't wait to start trying out some of Mama Hollioni's recipes. Very cool.

Sarah Sanders said...

Thanks for the great recipe, I can't wait to try it! Quick clarification - after cooking all day, are you then able to eat the meat or is it dry and stringy after cooking so long? My apologies if this seems a silyl questions - I just wanted to clarify.
Thanks so much for so many great recipes!

Mamahollioni said...
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