Homemade Chicken Stock

It's stock day!

I typically use the equivalent of 3 store bought cartons of chicken stock each week, so making my own just makes more sense. {Plus I get about 4 cups of chicken I can throw into dishes or make chicken salad with during the week. Having cooked chicken on hand is such a time saver and I don't have to worry about any sodium or preservatives in the chicken this way!}

The first time I made stock, I couldn't believe how easy it really is! Here's my process:

First, I gather all my ingredients.
  • Whole chicken, skin removed and cut in pieces.
  • Whole onion, cut in half.
  • 10 celery stalks, cut in half.
  • 2 cups of carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic, skins removed.
  • Thyme and Peppercorns, for flavor

I then throw everything into my stock pot and just cover it with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

*See this gunk?*

After about 5 minutes of simmering, I skim the top with a large spoon to remove all that. I return to do the same thing about every 20 minutes or so.

Let it simmer for 45 minutes, then take out the chicken pieces. Let them cool slightly {so the chicken can be handled} and remove most of the meat. I place mine in a plastic container and refrigerate until I'm ready to use it...if you're not sure all chicken will be used within the next 4 days or so, freeze it! It'll still be super easy to just throw into dishes! Good idea: Make a huge chicken pot pie or casserole for dinner - that tends to use up a lot of chicken at one time!

{Ahhh...the smell of simmering stock perfumes the house better than baking bread!}

Put the bones back into your simmering stock. Leave it alone {other than the occasional fat skimming} for 3 hours. When the stock has reached a rich, golden color and has reduced by half, it is done! Strain to separate the liquid from veg and bone. Let the stock cool...then pour into plastic containers. It can be refrigerated up to a week, or frozen for up the 3 months.

I think the little work required for stock is so worth it! Not only is it richer in flavor and color than what you can buy in the store, you also know exactly what's going into it...because YOU put it there! Another great thing about making your own is you can add ingredients not typically used to enhance flavor. Last week, I saved my rubbery asparagus ends and threw those in! You could do the same with cauliflower/broccoli stalks, mushrooms, parsnips, etc.

{See how much it has reduced! Yum!}

I hope you're enjoying your weekend! Yay for Stockday... {ahem} I mean Sunday! ;)