Chicken Stock

We roast a lot of chickens in this house. After sucking all the meat off the bones cleaning the cooked chicken carcass, there’s always another use for the left-overs. Chicken stock has magical properties. Especially in the winter when colds and the flu run rampant, or on chilly days, or to flavor other dishes. Here is my recipe.

In a large stock pot, add:

  • Chicken carcass and any left over giblets (heart, neck, liver, etc.)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4-5 carrots, washed and roughly chopped
  • 4-5 celery stalks, washed and roughly chopped
  • 5-10 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 of one head of flat leaf parsley
  • 5-10 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/4 cup whole peppercorns
  • 1 or 2 slices of Parmesan cheese rind*
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Cover with water, leaving at least 3″ below edge of pot

*I read about freezing and saving Parmesan cheese rinds to add flavor to dishes. I bought a giant wedge of cheese at the grocery store a few months ago, sliced off the rind and tossed it in the freezer. It has a really delicious flavor and adds a rich, complex flavor to sauces when simmered in the broth. It doesn’t taste specifically of cheese, just adds a richness to the flavor.

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Bring to a low boil and reduce to a simmer. Once foam begins to form on top, remove with a spoon.

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Simmer for 4-5 hours, cool on stove top and refrigerate overnight. After cooling, remove from refrigerator and skim clotted fat from the top.

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Remove vegetables and bones.

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Strain through sieve, and freeze (if you’re freezing in glass, leave extra head space for expansion without blowing up your mason jars all over the freezer).

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In the spirit of using every scrap, I also sort out the meat scraps and whole vegetables from the bones and pepper corns and store them to mix with dog food. As a note, onions are generally bad for dogs. My dog has a cast iron stomach, but I still avoid the onion pieces. I know there is essence of onion in the broth and probably seeped into the other ingredients, but I have not had any problems. If you’re concerned, adjust as needed. Anyway, she absolutely adores the yummy additions to her meals and I appreciate that she’s getting some unprocessed food.

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I hope you and your family and dogs enjoy this recipe!

Bon appétit.

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4 thoughts on “Chicken Stock

  1. As an afterthought, if you REALLY wanted to have zero waste, you can clean and dry the bones, grind them up, and bury them under your flowerbed and they will fertilize and provide calcium to your plants! I don’t know how feasible that is – but worth a try! I know tomato plants thrive on extra calcium. Hope I have inspired you to make your own stock, it’s truly so much better than store bought!

    • After I remove the solid remains from my stockmaking, all the bones, herbs and mushy vegetables get buried in a portion of my garden that I won’t be planting for a few months. It’s amazing how quickly it breaks down and if buried with about a foot of soil covering it, no animals will dig it up. Zero waste, plus nourishment. You don’t need to be a gardener.

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