Many of you are probably saying or thinking, chicken stock? She’s really posting a recipe for something that can easily be bought at the grocery store. Why yes, yes I am. Let me explain to you why I am and why I make my own. The terms “stock” and “broth” are pretty interchangeable but typically, stock refers to the homemade version, while broth refers to purchased varieties.
First of all, it’s incredibly easy. Really, any one can do it. Second, nothing compares taste wise, to homemade stock. There really is a huge difference. Things made with it just taste better. Third, the sodium. I like to control the amount of salt that my family eats. Even low sodium stock has quite a bit of salt in it. For those who don’t know, salt works on your kidneys to make your body hold on to more water. This extra stored water raises your blood pressure and puts strain on your kidneys, arteries, heart and brain. That’s bad. See a science lesson and recipe all in one!
The fourth reason is the cost. Since we are eating healthier and buying more organic things, I like to make those grocery dollars stretch as far as possible. I either buy a raw organic chicken or I get an organic rotisserie chicken already cooked. I roast it (if it hasn’t been already) and serve it for dinner. After dinner, I remove the rest of the chicken meat from the bones to use for future meals, then take the chicken bones and make homemade broth. You are literally using up every bit of that bird which is great because when you are paying per pound for whole cuts of meat, the bones are always included but often overlooked.
Some people like starting with raw chicken pieces to create the broth. You certainly can do it that way. I just don’t care for the boiled chicken afterwards and to throw it out means I am wasting a whole chicken. I would rather enjoy mine roasted before hand.
Now, I am going to include in the recipe what I add to make my stock. Please know that you do not have to stick to these. You can add or take away anything you want. Just try to avoid strong tasting vegetables like broccoli. I like to add a combination of celery, carrots, onions, garlic and parsley. I try to keep it as simple as possible and limited to what I always have on hand.
All you do is put the chicken carcass in the bottom of your largest pot. Add the vegetables you desire along with some peppercorns and a pinch of salt. Then add just enough water to cover the contents by one inch or so and cook on a low simmer for 3-4 hours. Strain the cooked stock through a fine-mesh strainer or colander set over a large bowl then discard the solids and let the stock cool. When it’s cooled, skim the fat that’s risen off with a spoon and discard. Use the broth immediately, jar it and put it in the refrigerator or put it in freezable containers and freeze for up to three months!