Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chicken Stock

Needless to say, there are many things that some women who are expecting do not want to talk about or think about early on.  For me, one of those things really anything having to do with a whole chicken.  Then I realized that cooking that left savory smells in my house for too long was a recipe for a gag fest.  As you can see, cooking of much really did a number on my sense of smell (which is on bloodhound level) and ultimately my stomach.  However, I am glad to say that I think we are on the up and up in that area.  But there are some things that I am not really ready to return to making and unfortunately one of those things is chicken stock.

I have learned to love making my own chicken stock.  I made my first batch about a year or so ago and I think I used too much water.  It still turned out well but not as rich as I have heard from others.  Then I   ccsw1ry with leaves, etc.  However, a friend recommended to me about putting in almost withered veggies in there, too.  Like spinach or anything else that I can find in my produce bin.  However, if I know that it's going to be awhile before I make stock I will throw my veggie extras in a ziploc bag and freeze them until I am ready.  Easy-peasy.

So, I throw my chicken/turkey carcass in the crock pot, cover with veggies, add some garlic and pepper to season, a bay leaf, and enough water to cover the carcass (about 6 to 8 cups depending on the size of your crock pot.)  I turn my pot on low and set the timer for 12 hours.  Generally, I just let it go over night and we are good to go in the morning.

While Squawkfox recommends putting the stock in the fridge after straining to let the fat coagulate, my mother-in-law has a handy little tool called a fat separator.  I don't know HOW it works but I do KNOW that it gets the job done.  If you don't want to wait the eight hours for the fat to separate this will make quick work of the task for you.

For storage, I pour my chicken stock into ice cube trays and once they are frozen I pop them out and put them in a ziploc storage bag.  The cubes equal about 1 oz of liquid.  Maybe a little less.  So, when I need them I put some in a microwaveable measuring cup and melt them.  You can use a pot and stove just as easy, too.  Whatever your preference.

If for some reason you will not be able to pop your cubes out for awhile wrap them up in plastic wrap to keep them from "drying" out.  Trust me, it can and will happen.  ha!

There are other storage options but this is my preferred method so I can generally just grab what I need for easy use.

Sometimes I don't even want to think about making stock after making a meal and dealing with cleaning a chicken.  I just throw the carcass in a ziploc or other freezer safe container and freeze it until I am ready to make stock.  It just takes the pressure off to prepare the meal and then get everything together for stock.

Hopefully, I will be up for making stock again soon.  But I may stick my pot outside so as to avoid the smell in my house.  It's a good smell in general.  It's just not a good smell to my pregnant frame at this time.  Such is life.

The crock pot method made a LOVELY stock rich in color and flavor.  I no longer find myself in a quandry needing stock at the last minute and I can flavor up just about anything by using it instead of water -- stuffing, rice, bulgar, quinoa, etc.  I look forward to making some soups this winter with it, too!  YUM!!  I also get a lot more bang for my buck.  My chicken is usually about $5 -- we will get a couple of meals out of it plus more stock than I could ever buy for $5.  Gotta LOVE the savings!!  (And you have to love the reduced salt, fat, and no MSG!)

Thoughts or tips on making stock???


  1. Note to self: make lots of stock before the next pregnancy. The only problem is that I always use so much of it, I don't exactly build up a buffer.

  2. I've been wanting to try to make my own stock. Thanks for the tips!