Cheekynibbles’ Chicken Stock

Oh, one thing…I don’t buy store chicken stock. I call it “poisoned chicken liquid“. I always make my own. The difference is incredible, not to mention the health benefits of not having toxic chemicals and preservatives swimming in your body. I know, we have it in our bodies already from all the other trillion different things around us, but if I can help it (and if its not covered in velvety chocolate, soft pillowy dough or deep fried batter or potato chips)…I save my toxin allowance!

Some of you may be daunted about making your own chicken stock but I promise you, if you have a little bit of patience (I usually have very little except when it comes to making my belly happy) and a lazy Sunday afternoon kickin’ around…I encourage you to be taken in by fresh homemade chicken stock. You may notice that most people don’t roast their chicken bones or add cilantro, some either hate it or love it. I happen to love cilantro and I think it should go in everything! As with most good things, make plenty (you can make double what this recipe dictates with a very large pot) so you can stock freeze for a later time and future yummy dishes. I refer to this recipe on other entries and have it on hand when I make soups, stews, rice dishes (risotto one of my faves) and every where else I see opportunity to add flavor!

chicken-stock

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2
  • 4 ribs celery, cut in 1/2
  • 1 leek, white¬†part only, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 to 10 peppercorns, whole
  • 3 whole cloves garlic, peeled, lightly crushed
  • 2 gallons cold water (filtered)

What I Do:

Place chicken bones, onions, carrots, celery and leeks onto a roasting tray and coat generously with olive oil. Salt and pepper generously, and put in 400C oven until golden brown with crispy edges. Be aware to rotate pan to roast evenly and to prevent burn.

Drain excess oil from bones and veg. Place roasted ingredients along with herbs and spices in a large stockpot and pour over water. Cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the liquid. Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon or fine mesh strainer every 10 to 15 minutes for the first hour of cooking and twice each hour for the next 2 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours.

Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot and cool immediately in large cooler of ice or a sink full of ice water. Place in refrigerator overnight. Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and store in container with lid in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months. Bring to boil for 2 minutes before using.