Sunday, December 14, 2014

No Sodium Chicken Stock

Making your own chicken stock is easier then you think.

It doesn't take 5 minutes, but it's really not that big of a deal.  And the best part is, NO WASTE!  You're using every single part of the chicken that you purchased with your hard earned money.  To me, that's a pretty big deal and a pretty big positive.  Plus, the flavor of homemade chicken stock is second to none.  When you compare the salt-laden water they give you in a carton for $4.00 a'll never go back.

What you'll need:

1. The carcass of a chicken you've roasted recently, along with the gizzards. (You can use as many as you want, it just depends on how big your stock pot is! )
2. An array of fresh vegetables.  For one carcass I use 2 large carrots, 2 large celery stalks, 1 onion, a few garlic cloves. No need to peel or chop, just remove the ends and the peel of the onion.  I usually cut in half as well.
3. An array of fresh herbs.  Thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, and a bay leaf. (These are optional but I think they make a beautiful difference).
4. A few tablespoons of whole black peppercorns
5. Water

The equipment you'll need:

1. A large pot with a lid
2. A fine mesh sieve or strainer
3. A few bowls
4. An ice cube tray and a large Ziploc bag as well as a mason jar or tupperware container with a tight fitting lid

To start::

Throw everything you have into your stock pot.  The chicken, veggies, herbs and spices. Fill to cover with water.

Once everything is in the pot, including the water, put a lid on it.  Put the heat to low-medium just enough to keep it on an easy simmer.  You can stir occasionally if you'd like but otherwise you can just forget about it.

After 3-4 hours, turn the heat off.  Allow the stock to cool a bit.

To prepare for the next step, place your fine mesh sieve in a large bowl.  Place a smaller bowl on the side to put the remains in so you don't run out of space in your sieve.

Start pouring the stock into the sieve in batches until there is no more liquid left.

Once this process is complete, dispose of the remains (We pick through THOROUGHLY and remove the bones.  Then we run through a food processor and BAM!  Dog food!) Place the lid on your stock bowl (or saran wrap) and place in the refrigerator until completely cooled, and the fat has separated from the liquid.

Skim off ALL of the congealed fat off the top with a spoon and throw away.  Once you've gotten most of, run through your strainer one last time to remove any excess fat particles.

VOILA!! Your finished product!  It's tasty and delicious and SO much better for you then your standards broths and stocks.  It doesn't last long in the fridge (maybe a week) so I freeze in ice cube trays (or Baby Bullet trays) and store in a Ziploc bag in the freezer and use as needed.

You can use this in rice, soups, stew, pasta dishes, marinara sauce, anything.  It really gives it an amazing background flavor.  For the recipe without any annoying photo comments please look below.


(Tip- Use a whole chicken, remove the meat and make yourself a yummy soup! Another tip is to freeze your chicken carcasses until you have a bunch, and make a LARGE batch of stock at a time).

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No Sodium Chicken Stock 

1 chicken carcass (or however many you have) 
2 carrots, ends removed and cut in half
2 celery stalks, cut in half 
1 large onion, ends removed, peels removed and cut in half 
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 bunch of thyme, parsley, and sage. 
1 bay leaf 
2 tbsp whole pepper corns 
Water to cover 

Add all of your ingredients to a large stock pot.  Cover with water and bring to a simmer for 3-4 hours.  Allow the stock to cool and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl.  Place a lid on your bowl or saran wrap, and place in the refrigerator for a few hours-overnight. 

Once the fat has separated from the liquid, skim off with a spoon and discard.  Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve one more time.  

Store in an airtight jar or container for 1 week in the refrigerator.  You can freeze in ice cube trays and store in your freezer as well. 

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