Thursday, January 20, 2011

How to Make Chicken Stock

I had never made chicken stock before because the idea always intimidated me. I don't know why!
My mom made it on occasion when I was growing up so I wasn't a stranger to the idea.... just scared that it was going to be really hard and LOTS of work involved (not that I don't appreciate a kitchen challenge every now and then).
Hard is the last word I would ever use to describe making this! And as far as lots of work, it practically made itself!
So it makes me ask myself why I've been buying the boxed stuff all these years! Not that it's bad to buy it on occasion because, let's be honest, not everyone has the time to make homemade stock.... but seriously, you will never want to go back to the box stuff after you make this and taste how CLEAN it is!

I used this and Alice Waters version from The Art of Simple Food as reference for what quantities of ingredients I wanted to use. Also, I did not use a whole chicken, just two chicken breasts since I was making a small batch of chicken soup. If using a whole chicken, adjust water and vegetable ratio.

Alice Waters uses parsnips in her recipe and I happened to have a bunch on hand from our last CSA pickup! I even added parsnips to the chicken soup and it gave such an earthy flavor, it was so so fabulous!

Chicken Stock
this recipe makes around 6 cups of stock (quart and a half - perfect for a small batch of chicken soup that serves 4)

2 organic free-range chicken breasts (bone-in with the skin)
1 carrot qaurtered
1 small onion quartered
1 celery stalk quartered
2 small parsnips qaurtered (optional)
6 cups water
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf

Place everything in a stock pot or a dutch oven and bring to a boil. cover with lid and simmer for about 40 minutes.

remove chicken from pot and set aside. Once cooled, remove meat and use right away or store in refrigerator.

strain broth and discard the vegetables. Skim off the fat and use broth right away or store in freezer in airtight container.

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