Chicken stock is one of those basic kitchen practices that everyone should know. It’s probably THE kitchen practice to know. It is liquid gold. It’s a thing of beauty. It’s full of flavor and it’s delicious. It’s also dang near free if you make it yourself.
With Thanksgiving coming up, you are going to need a lot of chicken stock. I bet the average American spends $10 – $15 on Thanksgiving chicken stock alone if they aren’t making their own. Maybe even more. And homemade is sooo much better than store bought. Even the “really good” store bought stuff.
Now, if you have been a good little girl ( or guy!) you have been buying bone-in chicken at the store and taking the chicken off the bone before you cooked it and then stuck all of your unused bones in a big ziploc bag in the freezer.
You haven’t? Well, start today. Chicken stock is the single best reason to by bone-in chicken breasts for $.99/lb. You can also use the half dead veggies living in the bottom of your fridge. Not the gross ones, but the ones that are starting to look a little tired.
The one thing you need lots of is time. The longer you can cook your stock the better. You can get a good stock after about 4 hours but if you can get up early enough, 10-12 hours is even better. I cooked this one for about 6 hours and it was delicious.
Since one good thing follows another, I made chicken noodle soup for dinner. A great stock will make a great soup and this was great soup.
So what do you do with your stock after you have made it? Well, it will keep in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze it ( some people like to freeze it in ice trays), or if you have a pressure canner you can can it.
3-4 pounds of chicken parts
2 carrots, cut into large pieces
1 large onion, quartered
3 stalks of celery ( and leaves!) cut in large pieces
4 cloves garlic, smashed
a heavy pinch of salt
a bundle of fresh herbs like sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley ( you can use dry if you’ve got no fresh)
2 bay leaves
water to cover
Put everything in your biggest pot and add enough water to cover.
Place this bowl in the fridge and let cool. Skim off the solidified fat. Use or store!
Chicken Noodle Soup
6 cups of chicken stock
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 cups of cooked chicken, diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T fresh parsley, minced
1/3 box of spaghetti, broken into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Saltine crackers to serve
Add everything in a big pot, except the chicken. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until everything is tender. Add the chicken to the pot and cook another 5 minutes. Serve with crackers and enjoy!