Chicken Stock and More!

So the other day we roasted a chicken and now we have finished eating it and are going to turn it into stock! Liquid Gold. The cure for anything that ails you. The base of so many sauces. Cheaper to make your own than to buy!  Yes, I just did the math and for about 10 dollars you can buy a little more than 1 gallon of stock or make 2 gallons of your own.

Stock is simple, don’t be intimidated! All you need is giant pot, a few veggies, some bullion and some bones. Oh, and a few hours of having one of your burners hogged up.

I have a 12 quart or 3 gallon size pot that I use almost exclusively for making stock as far as cooking purposes but it also doubles as the sous-vide container. Yes, this is a giant pot and no you don’t have to use one as big. Yes, it is huge and a pain to store and it gets heavy when it’s full! And also yes, I fill that sucker up almost all the way when I’m making the stock.

OK, now that we have our hardware in hand let’s get the ingredients together. This is chicken stock so I am using the carcass from the roasted chicken, 2 yellow onions, 2 leeks, a package of full sized carrots, the leftover green onions and asparagus and a whole head of fresh garlic that I will peel and smash. I also use about 4 tablespoons of chicken bullion powder for the extra punch of chicken and so that I don’t have to add salt. When we roasted the chicken we stuffed it with lemon, lime, white onion and parsley so some of that will be in the pot too and that is OK.

I find it easier to get all the stuff in the pot and put it on the stove before I fill it with water, this does mean a few trips from the sink to the stove with a water vessel of some sort but it’s OK to get 5,000 of your 10,000 daily steps in the kitchen but if you want to be lazy and only hurt your back you can fill the pot at the sink and then make it across the kitchen with a 30 pound pot of stuff without spilling or tripping over the dog then go for it!

Once it’s on the stove set it to medium low heat and let it simmer for as many hours as it takes for 3 gallons to become 2 gallons. While this is simmering you can go on about your regularly scheduled things, stock doesn’t need to be watched or anything. Taste it about 45 minutes to an hour in and see what’s going on. If you got carried away with the bullion you can add more water or some white wine or a potato. You could also add a few whole peppercorns to the mix if it needs a little heat.

After it has reduced by about 1/3 kill the heat and let it cool. When it is cool enough to handle comfortably get a colander and another large pot and a helper. Strain the stock thru the colander into the other pot and let it keep cooling down. You don’t want to leave this cooling for too long because bacteria can start to grow and then it will taste weird and everyone will have the trots. It really just needs to be cool enough to handle comfortably and not melt the storage containers.

Now that we have the broth in containers we can stick it in the freezer until we need to use it, which in my case is immediately so I will leave some aside.

Thanks ya’ll!! Happy Cooking!

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