Let's talk about why it is important to make your own chicken stock. Whenever you make soup or sauce, the foundations of those sauces/soups come from stock. Therefore, the quality of your stock will directly effect the flavor of your soup and sauce.
Most people feel that making stock takes too much time and there are some very good stocks available in a box. Don’t be fooled. The difference in taste between the box stock and homemade stock is tremendous. So, I make large batches of homemade chicken stock and freeze them in quart-sized containers.
Now, let's talk about chicken -- I will only buy organic, free range natural chicken, which many of you know is more expensive than the grocery store stuff. So, to save some money (and hone my knife skills), I will buy a whole chicken and butcher it myself.
Chicken stock is relatively easy to make:
Clean and cut up your chicken, then place the pieces in a 16 quart stock pot with 6 quarts of water. Let the water come to a boil and then skim off all the fat and scum that floats to the top. Then add the remaining cup of water and bring it back to a boil.
Next add your chopped veggies, herbs, salt and bay leaf. If you have shiitake mushrooms, they are a wonderful addition. Bring back to a gentle boil – just above a simmer – and cook partially covered for 3+ hours. Strain the liquid. Discard the veggies. Reserve the meat for soup or lunch!
I recently bought an InstantPot, which I now use primarily to make chicken stock. I cook the stock on high pressure for 1 1/2 hours and strain.
Regardless of the method you use (stovetop or pressure cooker), make sure that when you strain your liquid, make sure you are first using a mesh strainer lined with linen, and then again in a fine mesh strainer when you pour it into your storage container.
If you don’t use the stock within three days. Then freeze it. Otherwise, refrigerate the stock and remove any remaining any fat solids that form on top before using.
I'm a home cook with a lifelong passion for learning, exploring and experimenting in my kitchen. You can find me at @Debs1 on Twitter and @Debs121212 on Instagram.
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