Source: Rochelle 2011
Making your own chicken stock base gives you a real sense of accomplishment. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that most young people don’t make their own chicken stock. In fact, maybe most of them don’t know that you can make it on your own, rather than in a can or a box, or a little bouillon cube. A few generations before us, making your own from scratch was the only option cooks, chef’s, and mom’s had. The problem then was that it was hard to freeze. Making your own stock is probably one of the simplest recipes to do. In addition, you can freeze them in ice cube trays, or individual serving containers or bags for when you need it in cooking. In fact, you can make any stock (vegetable stock, beef stock, fish stock) and treat it the same way by making it ahead of time, and freezing it. I like to make chicken stock when I have an abundance of ingredients on hand. Too many carrots, celery. and onions means stock.
Mirepoix is the combination of onions, carrots, and celery. It’s usually 2 part onion, 1 part carrot, 1 part celery. Mirepoix is a French term which is known as bringing these 3 flavors together by a gentle stewing method, usually in conjunction with fat from butter or oil. There’s no browning involved, or sauteing, it’s a simple stewing process. This is the base of your chicken stock.
In addition to your mirepoix, you’ll need your chicken parts. The great thing about making your stock, is you just need parts, such as gizzards, necks, wings, legs or even the left-over carcass. It’s best to just let your stock simmer for a few hours on a low heat. You’ll notice the flavor, color and depth of this stock just intensify.
Home-made Chicken stock
- 1 chicken or chicken parts
- 10-12 cups water
- 2 stocks celery cut
- 1 carrot cut
- 1 onion sliced thick
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 pinches salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 stem rosemary separate from stem
- 1 stem oregano separate form stem
- Use a whole chicken or parts. With parts I mean gizzards, neck, wings, skin and the carcass Fill stock pot with water so that the chicken parts or whole is covered. Add vegetables, spices and herbs, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce temperature to a simmer and cover with lid. Let cook without disturbing for minimum of 30 minutes. At this point, remove lid, and sample stock.
- If you have reached the desired flavor, you may turn to low, and keep on a slow cook until chicken is cooked enough to where the parts begin to fall off.
- If you are not yet satisfied with the taste of your stock, season by adding more salt, or herbs, and continue to cook. Cook at least an hour.
- At this point, chicken is well finished, and can be removed. Find a sieve and strain the stock into a metal bowl and set aside.
- To further move on and make chicken soup with this stock, once you have reserved the stock and it has been strained and is clean, add to your clean stock pot and begin to dice up the vegetables you wish to add.
- You might choose carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, and a bit of garlic. Once the chicken has cooled, begin to tear the meat and keep it separate from the fat and bones.
- Discard the bones, and take all the meat and dice in large chunks, or keep it in a “pulled” fashion.
- Once the vegetables have been cooked in the stock and are ready and soft, add the meat, infuse the flavor for a few minutes, and serve. Serve with roasted garlic bread. Enjoy!