Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Making Chicken Stock While Half Asleep

Dear Lauren,

Always remember this: don't wait til late in the day to make homemade stock unless you're going to do it in the crock pot. It takes about 5 hours on the stove and what sounds like a good idea at 8 at night will not sound as great at midnight when you're really tired but are determined to see the thing through.

I never made homemade chicken or vegetable stock until recently. I bet you know what I'm about to say. Yes, it's true I tried it because the Cowgirl Chef told me to. I really need to start reading other cookbooks and blogs for inspiration but I have to say that the CC is quite brilliant. 

 I stopped throwing away chicken bones and carcases and vegetable scraps and peels and started bagging them in ziplocs and tossing them in the freezer. It couldn't be any simpler. (Do you see the Blue Bell? I made chocolate sauce last night. Now I want some! Ugh! Behind the ice cream are frozen bananas. Smoothies! Sounds so good! Over on the far right? Sweet potato mash all ready for sweet potato biscuits! Now I am starving! This is what happens when you're up instead of being asleep like you should. Your body is out of energy and will take it in any form it can get. Resist it and go to bed! Don't stay up all night making chicken stock like me!)

So here is the recipe I used. The recipe for this chicken stock...

...and the recipe for the vegetable stock as well. I made back in June for the first time and I made it again yesterday. It's wonderful too. 

After you simmer the stock for 5 hours you strain it. I put cheesecloth over a strainer over a bowl.

Pour the contents in.

Take my OXO potato masher and push all the stock out of the scraps.

Liquid GOLD!

Look how dark it is outside! It's like 1:30 a.m.! I was half asleep putting these in jars. And no, I didn't wait until the broth cooled down. Here is the conversation Dad and I had about that:
Me: Is it was true that you have to let the broth cool down before you refrigerate it?
Dad: I think so.
Me: why?
Dad: I don't know.
Me: I'm going to go google it.
Dad: OK.
So I googled it and guess what? You don't. 
Read this.

It was too hot to put in ziplocs. So I decided to put it in jars overnight. I was up late so I talked about it with some of my cooking friends on facebook. I seriously love facebook. My friend Deanah said to leave the tops off to let the steam escape so I just put the tops on top of the jars but didn't screw them on all the way. I really wanted to screw on those tops but the thought of broken glass and homemade chicken broth covering every inch of the refrigerator stopped me. Then I went to bed.

The next morning, this is what I saw. All the fat rises to the top. You can skim it off or leave it in, it's up to you. Fat has more calories of course but there's also a lot of flavor in it. I skimmed most of it off with a spoon.

At this point with the broth cooled, I bagged it. I put 2 cups per bag because that's what the CC said to do! And I agree, it's a good amount for cooking many things. My friend Carol says just freeze one cup per bag. You can decide what's best for you. I use a Mason jar to hold the one-quart ziplocs while I pour. It works really well.

Just pour it right in, no mess!

Lay your bags on a baking sheet to keep them flat and stick them in the freezer. Once frozen you can stack them or put them upright, whichever fits best for you. It's AMAZING to have homemade chicken or vegetable stock in the freezer for cooking or soup or even for Oreo. He likes it mixed in his dog food. (Look in the back there! Those are frozen dessert shells I made from the Jam Tart leftover dough! What should I make to fill them with?)



  1. I saw a great tip today from Michael Symon on The Chew today. He said after you remove your corn from the cob, throw the cob in a pot of boiling water for 45 minutes. It will make a wonderful stock to use later in soups and such.

    1. I love that tip, Linda! And I love you even more for posting it!