Should you make your own chicken stock?
You can buy prepared organic, all natural and even gluten free chicken stock at the grocery store so why reinvent the wheel and make it yourself? Hmm…good question. Quick and easy “stock in a box” is a fantastic and well needed time saver for the home cook. Think about it.
What To Look For
Read the ingredients and compare. I’d suggest organic, all natural ingredients and definitely stay away from any brand that includes MSG as a flavor enhancer. You don’t need that in your body.
Chicken stock is used as a base for preparing everything from soups, gravies, sauces to rices and pasta dishes. You can substitute stock in any recipe that calls for water. It adds a delicious depth of flavor. Because you can’t control the sodium in prepared stock, don’t add additional salt to the recipe until the very end and then “to taste”.
With That Being Said…
If you have the time (and by time I mean 5-6 hours) and want to prepare your own, here is a fabulous recipe.
Homemade Chicken Stock…liquid gold
- 1 cut up chicken, about 3lbs
- 1 tsp vegetable or Canola oil
- 1 tbls butter
- 2 Peeled carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 Onion, roughly chopped
- 1 Large celery heart rib (with leaves), roughly chopped
- 2 1/2 Quarts water
- Spice bag: On a double layer of cheesecloth, place the following spices. Bring up the corners and tie with kitchen string to form a bag.
- 3 Springs fresh parsley
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp Whole peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp Thyme
- 1/4 tsp Rosemary
- In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, heat the oil and brown the two breasts, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- If needed, add a bit more oil and brown the remaining chicken pieces, in 2 batches if needed. Remove and set aside.
- Next, add 1 tbls butter and 1 tsp oil, if needed, and sauté the carrots and onion until the onion is tender.
- Return all the chicken back into the Dutch oven, add the water, celery and the spice bag.
- Bring to a boil over medium-low heat.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Skim the foam, remove the breasts and set them aside.
- Remove the rest of the chicken pieces. Remove the meat from the bones and set the meat aside with the breast meat. Return the bones to the pot.
- Simmer the stock for 3-4 hours, uncovered.
- Strain, discarding everything left behind…any chicken bits, bones, vegys and the spice bag.
- Put the remaining stock in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. (By this time…it will be overnight)
- Skim the fat off the surface and you’ve got yourself homemade chicken stock. Store in the refrigerator and use within 3 days.
⇒ Here’s an idea…freeze in ice cube trays for small servings when you’re making quick soup for one.
After Thanksgiving dinner, perhaps over the weekend, make turkey stock using what’s left of the bird. Use the stock for Turkey Vegetable Soup, Turkey Tetrazzini (click for my recipe) or other dishes that utilize Thanksgiving leftovers.
Check out recipes on this site to utilize your delicious homemade stock or take advantage of a major time saver and use quick and easy, all natural organic prepared stock to make something delicious for dinner tonight. Come back often as this site is always growing. Questions or comments? I welcome your feedback and if you have a question, I will help find an answer.
I’ve just added a recipe that will knock your socks off. Click here for Homemade Beef Stock …or you can find the recipe under the drop down menu “Soups and Stews”. The uses are absolutely endless and doctors even say it’s healthy to have a mug of beef broth every day. I look forward to your comments, etc.