Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Homemade Chicken Stock

For some of you out there, making your own stock is the most normal thing in the world.  For me, I had to consciously decide to buy the chicken and set about to make stock.

Hi, my name is Karla and I have converted from bouillon cubes to homemade stock.

It is just that good!  I loved the faint scent that permeated my kitchen, and I loved being the one in control of the salt--boullion is almost ALL sodium (not cool!).

And really, so easy.  It literally makes itself as it simmers quietly and gently on the back burner.  In this season of life of mothering 3 munchkins, whatever can be set on autopilot is a win for me!

My biggest issue was finding enough storage containers to put that beautiful golden stock in.....a friend suggested mason jars, which I ended up using.  However, the second time I made stock, several of my jars cracked in the freezer (again, way not cool!).  So, I think that the next time I am at Wal-mart, I will pick up some plastic Ball pint-sized freezer containers.  If you plan on doing that as well, buy about 15!  Homemade stock will yield about 15 pints.

Homemade Chicken Stock
Inspired by Deliciously Organic

1 4-pound whole chicken, innards removed
1-2 carrots, peeled and ends removed
2 stalks celery, leaves included
2 cloves of garlic, slightly crushed
2 bay leaves
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 small bunch of fresh parsley
2 twigs of fresh thyme
           {fresh herbs are preferable, but dried work as well, about 1-2 tsp. each}
1 tsp. salt (I used kosher)
1 tbl. white vinegar

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot (the largest you have) and cover with water.  Simmer over medium-low heat 6-8 hours with the lid ajar (keeps your water from evaporating).

When the meat falls off the bone and the broth is a deep golden color, strain the cooked vegetables out and discard.

Remove the chicken and bones; clean the chicken and keep for another use.

Line a fine mesh strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth; strain broth.  Transfer strained broth to appropriate freezer containers and let cool at room temperature before placing in freezer.

{1 pint = 2 cups}

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