Real Food for Real Life

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Waste not, want not...

Homemade chicken stock for the freezer.

 I have spent the past two Sundays tearing apart rotisserie chickens to create other dishes, making salads for the weeks ahead, and other general food prep-pery (like my new word :), presenting the perfect opportunity to make the best kind of chicken stock, homemade.  The process is easy, all you need is a bit of time and the freezer space to stow your treasure (I got seven cups this week and six last).

When you are dismantling those chickens you are only after the meat.  How often do you throw away what remains?  Next time throw skin, bones, and all those kind of yucky bits into a deep stock pot.  Throw whatever veggie scraps you have from making other dishes into the pot.  My last two batches have included the trimmings of: carrot, celery, onion, cucumber, bell pepper, broccoli, romaine, spinach, eggplant, and radishes (the more the merrier).  Add a few three finger pinches of coarse salt, a small handful of whole black peppercorns, and a few bay leaves.  Add enough water to cover everything, bring it to a boil, and reduce the temperature to keep it just under a boil for about an hour.

Turn off the heat and leave to sit on the stove until it cools a bit for easier handling.  Strain the broth into a large measuring cup or bowl, pressing on the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to extract all of the goodness.  Now you may throw away what is left.

Stow in the fridge overnight to allow the fat to rise and congeal at the top.  Here you can see it already separating.  The next day skim off the fat and you are left with a nearly fat free, but nonetheless very rich broth.  The amount will vary depending on how much went into the pot.  Use within a few days or portion it out for the freezer.

Who knew being thrifty could be so delicious?

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