CHICKEN STOCK

some chicken
some celery
some carrot
some onion
optional: some leek, some basil, some bell pepper,some mushrooms, some garlic, some any other vegetable or herb lying around…..

 

*Making chicken stock is actually pretty easy, and takes a few hours, if you’re up to it. If you’re not, doing part of this recipe for a little while to canned broth will make it taste tons better. I’ll talk more about that at the end.

*To start ­ take your chicken (for several quarts of broth, in my big "stock pot" I use 2-3 thighs, or a few breasts, or bits from a carcass, or a medium amount of leftover chicken from whatever. Leave the bones in. Put a tiny bit of oil in the pot (I usually pull the skin off the chicken bits so that there’s not so much grease from the skin), turn the burner to medium high, and brown your chicken. This is what makes the stock taste good. Keep stirring the chicken around. Near the end, throw your onion-ey things in (garlic, leeks, etc) and let them carmelize a bit, too. When you’ve done enough of that, deglaze the pan with a little water or wine. Then add water and your other veggies. For an 8 qt pot I usually use 2-3 thighs, four or five stalks of celery, a carrot or two, and at least one onion. The other things are optional, but will make things taste good. The more good veggie bits you use, the better the broth will taste. Tops of things you usually throw away are great in stock . Don’t put any salt or pepper in till the end, and go easy on the dried herbs…. they’ll get concentrated as you cook.

*Get the liquid and veggies to a simmer. Sometimes it helps to put the pot on the burner a little asymmetrically. Let it simmer. If you see grey foamy stuff collecting, skim it off. Cook the stock for a few hours, 1.5 hours minimum, and then strain it. If you’re going to use the stock immediately, skim off the fat. If not, put it in the fridge or the freezer (depending) and take the fat off when it’s hard. Stock will last a week or a week and a half in the refridgerator, and several months in the freezer. I try to freeze most of it in ziplocks in about 2-4 cup quantities, and some of it in ice cubes for sauces.

*always add your salt and pepper when you are cooking WITH the broth, after you make. You’ll have much better control then.

*If you’re going to use chicken broth from a can, here’s what to do to make it taste better: chop up an onion, and any other veggies (especially carros and celery) and sautee them until they start to carmelize in the bottom of the pot. Then deglaze the pot with a little broth, and then add the rest in. Simmer it for 20-30 minutes (or however long you have) and then strain it. The broth will taste so much better.