There is something alluring about making stock – not in a flashy way, but a subtler, quieter appeal that pulls me into the kitchen. The way the rich smell of the stock fills our home, the simple ingredients that come together to create a nutritious, flavorful base for so many different dishes, the sound of the hot liquid as it simmers. The entire process grounds me and brings me joy.
If you’ve never made stock, it’s not difficult at all. Everything goes in a pot, you let it simmer for a long time, and then take the stuff out of the pot. It’s impossible to mess up. I put it in jars and freeze it until I need it for a recipe. Homemade stock tastes much fresher and there is satisfaction for me in knowing that the entire dish was made from scratch, even the stock.
You can make stock out of a roasted chicken carcass, which I do. This recipe, though, uses a whole, uncooked chicken. I pull all the meat off of the chicken once the stock has finished cooling and use it in other dishes. Tomorrow I’ll post one of our favorite ways to use it – a simple and delicious chicken bake you can make even on busy nights.
This is also a money-saver, which I love – if I bought stock at Costco, it would be $10 for 6 quarts. For about $3.50 I can make 4 quarts of stock and have meat from a whole chicken that will feed us for two nights plus leftovers. Also, If I know I’m going to be making stock I save my carrot peels, onion tops, and ends of celery and throw them in my stock pot, too.
Here are some ways to use all that stock you’re going to make:
- Shirley at Gluten-Free Easily’s Tasty Tortilla Soup
- Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Why I Love Soup
- My Meatballs with Fresh Veggie Sauce & Peas
Update 10/8/09: This post is linked to Kitchen Stewardship’s October Fest of Super Foods.
Serves: about 4 quarts
- 1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds
- 2 large unpeeled carrots, cut into 3 pieces
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 3 pieces
- ½ head of garlic, unpeeled and cut in half
- 1 large white or yellow onion, unpeeled and cut in quarters
- 5 stems fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black Tellicherry peppercorns
- Rinse chicken and remove any giblets. Place all ingredients in stock pot and fill pot with water leaving and inch and a half at the top. Bring to a gentle boil, uncovered, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 4 hours, skimming any scum that rises to the top.
- Let stock cool. Remove chicken to a large plate. Discard the vegetables and herbs. Place cooled stock in refrigerator overnight. Remove any solidified fat, strain through a fine mesh strainer, and place in glass mason jars. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
- Remove skin and discard. Take meat from bones and use anyway you choose.