Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Make Your Own Stock

Since we are currently in the midst of soup season, I thought I would share with you one way to make a fabulous soup base and save some of your hard earned bucks at the same time. For those of you who are trying to feed your family good food on a budget, this is a way to use a whole chicken without wasting anything at all, which is especially nice when you invest in poultry that is free range, organic and more expensive. Making your own broth is a very simple, easy process.

 Having had a lovely African meal that included a roasted chicken, I used this for my chicken stock. The seasonings we used to flavor the chicken made for a very flavorful, fragrant broth. I first removed the big pieces of meat from the bones. These I set aside to use later in a pot of chicken noodle soup. Once that was done, I put the carcass (skin, bones and all) in my big soup pot, added an assortment of veggies and herbs, and covered it all with water. It looked like this...
I realize this doesn't look too appetizing, but I promise that the end product is wonderful. This picture is before the water was added.
List of veggies and herbs that I used...
Onion (halved)
Carrots (cut in big chunks)
Several whole garlic cloves (peeled)
Celery (cut in big pieces)
Sprigs of thyme and rosemary (mine were frozen in olive oil)
Fresh parsley (also frozen, from my garden:)

This is just a basic recipe. You can add whatever spices, herbs or root veggies you would like. Many recipes say to add parsnips, but that's not something I typically just have in my fridge and I wanted to use what I had on hand. 

Bring this all to a boil, turn it down and let it simmer for a few hours. It will smell delightful!

After having simmered for about 4-5 hours, I used a colander to remove the big pieces out of the broth. I then ran the broth through a fine metal sieve. This gets pieces and chunks out and leaves you with a lovely, fragrant, tasty broth. I put all of the chunks on a cookie sheet and sorted through it to remove any good pieces of meat to put in my soup.  The rest of it, minus any bones that could be harmful, went to our dog, Tucker.  Being a black lab, he pretty much eats anything and he quite enjoyed it...veggies and all. 

That's it. I used the broth for a yummy pot of homemade chicken noodle soup for my family. You can also let the broth cool and then freeze it for later. It truly is a simple, failproof process, a great way to avoid wasting food. Give it a try. It is about a million times tastier than broth from the grocery store!

1 comment:

  1. I have recently started making stock as well, and it makes for a great base for a delightfully hearty stew. It is winter here in SW France, and there is nothing like stew and dumplings to keep those inner fires burning. And the left overs? Like you, we give them to our four dogs. Nothing is wasted!