I used to suffer from two terrible kitchen bad habits.
- Continually discarding unwanted pieces of meat and bone – mostly chicken
- Every 2-3 weeks, I would do a fridge purge and throw out wrinkled vegetables
Is this you too? If yes – STOP, and join me in my homemade chicken stock quest, it’s so liberating.
Now I’m not saying don’t buy chicken stock from here on. I wouldn’t say that. It’s way too convenient to go to the store and pick up a carton, and race home with it ready to apply to sauces and soups. But there are those days when you could rustle up your own using unwanted or inedible chicken pieces, such as wing tips, meatless chicken back and neck bone. Aside from chicken remnants all that is needed to apply flavor to your chicken stock, is vegetables and herbs, and that’s where your slightly wrinkled and somewhat wilted vegetables come into play. Rather than dragging your trash can to the fridge and throwing your hard earned money into the garbage, place your unwanted chicken pieces and less than attractive vegetables and herbs into a stock pot and simmer. If you rarely buy herbs and therefore do not have any suffering in your fridge like I usually do, you can use dried, and the result will still be some very tasty chicken stock.
Stop throwing out those unwanted pieces of chicken and instead pop them in the freezer and keep adding to your stash until you have at least 8 oz of chicken remnants. You can do the same with your vegetables once they reach that “oh dear” stage. Or you can do what I often do, and just use whatever is in the fridge at the time.
I really enjoyed making my chicken stock, it felt so good to make something out of what would normally be viewed as useless, and store it for use in something wonderful in the future. Give it a try.
- 8 oz uncooked chicken wing tips and/or remnants
- 1 1/2 cups scallion or onions (roughly chopped)
- 2 cups celery with leaves (roughly chopped)
- Bunch parsley and/or thyme or 2 tbsp dried parsley and/or thyme
- 4 Bay leaves (fresh or dried)
- 2 cups of root vegetables i.e. carrots, parsnips, turnips, radish, leeks (no beets or potatoes)
- 1 cup seeded or fleshy vegetables i.e. sugar snap peas, snow peas, sweet pepper (if you have it)
- 4-6 cups water - enough to cover ingredients in stock pot, add more or less if necessary.
- Place all ingredients into stock pot, and heat on high until contents rises almost to boiling point, then lower heat to a low simmer and cook for 2-3 hours.
- Check on your stock regularly to ensure flavors combine and complement nicely.
- Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.
- Allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Many recipes advise you to skim the stock of fat, I prefer to leave the fat to protect the contents of the stock while storing in the fridge, plus the fat adds flavor. If you prefer, you can of course skim your stock.
- Many recipes will advise to add salt and pepper, I do not. I prefer to leave the salt and pepper out as I want the flexibility of adding my stock to sauces, gravies and soups which may have already reached its salty, seasoned peak. You can always add salt and pepper as desired once you have added your stock to a recipe.