It’s soup season and time to stock up! Pun intended.
Last week I intentionally roasted a whole chicken so that I could later make a large pot of chicken stock to tuck away in the freezer.
Making your own chicken stock is simple and well worth the effort — not only do you control everything that goes into it, it tastes better and is a great way to use leftover veggies as well as really utilizing every bit of that roasted chicken.
I like to keep a bag in the freezer and when I prep onions, celery, carrots, etc. I toss in the elements that would otherwise go in the compost. Then when it’s time to make stock all those leftovers find their way into my large stock pot.
You don’t have to have a frozen stash of veggies for this project, just follow the simple recipe below…
1 chicken carcass
2 whole onions
5 celery stalks
5 cloves of garlic
4 whole peppercorns
Handful fresh parsley
Small handful fresh thyme (or 1 heaping tsp of the dry stuff)
2 bay leaves
Throw all ingredients into a large stock pot (no need to chop into smaller bits and pieces, you can essentially throw them all in whole – except for the onions – cut those babies in half)
Fill up stock pot with as much water as it will hold
Place on stove and bring to a boil
Drop the heat to low, throw a lid on it and let it ride…all. day. long.
After a full day of simmering, turn off the heat and allow the pot to cool slightly. Then, with a slotted spoon, fish out what you are able of the chicken carcass, veggies and herbs. If you’d like, add salt. I don’t add any salt, I wait and add when I’m cooking so I can really control how much sodium finds its way into my meals – but that’s totally up to you
Pop the whole pot into the fridge and allow to cool (I leave this over night). When you return to the pot the next day, the fat will be floating on the top.
Scoop this out. Then, pour the contents through a fine mesh strainer into a large measuring cup.
How you choose to divvy up your yield is up to you. For this batch, I chose to freeze 4 containers of 5 cup portions (a typical size for the soups I make):
And what was left over I poured into ice trays and froze:
These little cubes of stock allow for me to thaw out smaller portions, as needed, for other recipes. For my particluar ice cube trays 14 cubes = about 1 cup.
There you have it! Couldn’t be simpler and your house will smell wonderful all day while your stock simmers.
Get ‘stocked’ up and I’ll be sharing some soup recipes with you in the coming weeks.