Many recipes use chicken stock as part of the groundwork for a dish. In the past I've just bought chicken stock cubes or ready made stock purely because I didn't know how to make my own stock. Shop-bought stocks can have a salty taste which I'm not too keen on, especially the stock cubes. Nowadays I try to use every part of a whole chicken, including making the stock from the carcass. It makes me feel as though I've used the chicken we'd bought to its full potential.
Ingredients - Chicken stock from carcass
- One chicken carcass
- 2/3 small onions, 1/2 large
- 2/3 cloves of garlic
- Couple of carrots
- 2/3 celery sticks
- Couple of bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
Method - Chicken stock from carcass
Nothing too strenuous, I'm sure you're glad to hear. The vegetable ingredients for this recipe can be changed depending on what you have left over. As long as you have the essential parts such as garlic and onion, most veg will do as long as it's not too over-powering.
In a stock pot or big sauce pan pop some water (1/2 litre) and on to the hob on a medium heat. Crush the garlic with the side of a knife or the palm of your hand, chop the carrots, onions and celery roughly and add to the stock pot. Add your chicken carcass and left overs along with the bay leaves, seasoning and water to cover. Mix it around and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 5 hours with the lid on.
After the five hours I usually sieve the stock ladle by ladle into a container or measuring jug to remove the large bits and throw these straight into the bin. At this point I prefer to let the stock cool. By doing so the fat will rise to the top of the jug making it easy to skim off. After skimming the fat, I then strain through a muslin square (you'll probably have plenty of these if you have a baby in the house like me) to remove the sediment you'll see at the bottom of the measuring jug.
Once strained I measure out into 50ml portions using another baby accessory pictured here. It is used to freeze baby food in portions, but works well in this instance too. I think ours came from Boots.
Carefully put these in the freezer making sure thy are level otherwise they'll spill. Once frozen pop out the 50ml portions of chicken stock into a freezer bag.
You'll now be able to use homemade chicken stock whenever a recipe needs it, and you've just made that roast chicken go a little bit further.
As you can see you have complete control over the amount of salt in the stock, which is needed in all cooking and especially if you are cooking for children.
- Written by Stuart Edge
- Category: Stocks and Sauces
- Published: 24 March 2012