Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WFMW ~ Chicken Stock

One of the biggest money savers in our house is making homemade chicken stock.  I make a lot of soups and other things that require chicken stock and it is very expensive to buy. I know there are a lot of recipes out there for making stock...but really I just throw a bunch of things into a giant pot and boil away. Good enough for me.  

As I accumulate things in the kitchen that I think would be good in stock, I freeze them in a large container.  Then, all I have to do is open the container and throw the item in.  It's okay if they all stick together, because your throwing it all in the same place anyway.  I think having one container saves on space, time, and money. Here is a list of some of the things I have thrown into a pot of chicken stock.  The ones that are bold are, in my opinion, a must:

Chicken - cooked chicken carcasses, uncooked chicken parts, skin, yucky parts...whatever
Onions
Celery - save your leafy parts as they add tons of flavor to the stock
Garlic - no need to peel
Leeks
Leek tops
Fresh or Dried Herbs
Parmesan or other cheese heels - once you've used the cheese just stick it in the freezer to save
Salt - don't go crazy on this because you can always add more to the dish
Whole Peppercorns
Broccoli Stems
Left over veggies such as peas, corn, green beans, green onions - seriously, it all adds flavor

I make chicken stock every couple of months and I basically just load up a large pot with all my savings and fill it to the top with water.  Then I bring it to a strong boil and reduce to a simmer. Then I cover it and let it go.  Simmer for a loooooooong time.  I've been known to do it overnight.  I would say at least 6 hours. 

Then, I let it cool and get a large tupperware container.  I  then strain the stock over a strainer. Throw all the leftovers away.  DON'T try to save the chicken.  You just boiled the heck out of it. It's done its duty.

Now, let the strained stock stay in the fridge overnight.  All of the fat and other left over bits will rise to the top and you can skim it off. It really is worth the overnight wait.

Finally, divide the stock into bags or other containers to freeze and use for later.  I divide mine into 1 quart (4 cups), 2 cups, and 1 cup increments.  I freeze mine in bags.  It works well and rarely leaks.  See here:



Then your husband, who thinks making stock is silly, can leave you messages on your bags :)



Well, that's what works for me!  To see more tips go to Works For Me We Wednesday!

If you haven't had a chance to enter my giveaway for the cutest produce bags ever you may do so here!!

11 comments:

  1. Love it! I need to get better about making my own stock -- I do veggie stock in the crockpot frequently, but I don't often do chicken stock.

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  2. i posted on stock a few weeks ago, too. i learned that to maximize nutitious gelatin in the stock, it's good to break the bones and add in a tablespoon or two of vinegar in with cold water to draw out minerals.

    off to check out your giveaway:)

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  3. I like to make stock in the slow-cooker. 1st, I cook my chicken for a few hours in the Crockpot. I cool it a bit, remove all the meat, then toss the carcass and all the veggies back in and allow it to cook for a good long time.

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  4. You're a SWEETHEART!!! and I have an award for you come by and visit so you can receive it.
    Geri

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  5. I love stock. I use it in so many things (homemade spaghetti sauce in place of water for more depth of flavor), and you really can never have enough.

    You're very trusting of those Zip-Loc bags. I'd be afraid one might spring a leak. :-)

    Lisa

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  6. SUCH a good idea. I am the guilty buyer of tons of chicken stock. It's obscene. I need to just start making me own. Thanks for giving me the much-needed kick-in-the-butt!

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  7. That's great! Love your husbands little message! Sweet!

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  8. Love that idea. How sweet of the husband..

    Here is something for you.
    keepingupwiththeschultzfamily.blogspot.com/2010/02/fabulousblogtastichappiness.html

    Have a great day stop on by.

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  9. I make my own stock all the time. Love using fennel as well.

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  10. I make my own stock too- it is amazing. If you added a bit of vinegar you would be able to get more calcium and other nutrients out of the bones when it is simmering. Also- bring to a boil really slowly- that helps the bones break down too. (I think).

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Thanks so much commenting! It really brightens my day!