What an autumn we have had so far. I wish this weather could last until December 20th, but sadly I know the bitter cold will blast in soon. Now is the time to start making soup. All great soup recipes start with delicious stock.
If you are cooking up a Zweber Farms whole chicken, chances are it took you a good while from freezer to table. First you had to thaw the chicken over night, then you had to prepare the chicken and recipe ingredients. Lastly, you had to cook it, which took anywhere from 30-90 minutes. After all the work, why waste most of the chicken by throwing the bones into the trash?
Solution: Make chicken stock.
Making chicken stock takes a little time, but it is really easy.
- First take the leftover bones, back and neck and place in a cheese cloth.
- Add: 2 sliced carrots, 2-3 sliced celery sticks, 1 sliced onion, 1 sprig herbs of choice (I use rosemary or thyme), and pepper to taste to the cloth. (don’t go overboard on the pepper, you will always add more in your recipes)
- Tie the cloth with a string.
- Cover the cloth with water in the large stock pot.
- Bring to boil and simmer for 4 hours
- Bring back to rapid boil and boil for 30 minutes or until the water has reduce by half.
- Dump out the contents of the cloth in the trash. Wash the cloth and save for another use.
- Pour stock into glass jars and freeze.
Some stock recipes say to skim off the fat as it is simmering. I don’t, because the fat will rise to the top of the jars and act as a protective barrier to bacteria. You can just scoop off the fat when you are ready to use. You may have noticed that I don’t use any salt. You will add the salt when you make your recipes. The stock will last for several months in the freezer or a about a week in the refrigerator.
Use your homemade stock when you are making rice, couscous, soup and more.
Sounds yummy! Now, to find time!
Emily – you have changed my life! I know this sounds silly and simple, but one of the reasons I really dislike making stock is the straining part… and you just solved that so ridiculously easy by starting with everything in cheesecloth! I’m going to roast a chicken and make stock tomorrow! (can’t today… bird is still in the freezer! LOL)
I don’t remember where I learned that trick, but it is a life saver.
I have done this many times. I find backs and necks at the health food store. Put all the the crock pot and cook for about 12 hours. Add a TBS of vinegar (helps to draw out the good minerals from the bones). Parsley is good too. I freeze in zip-lok bags, the quart size. Wonderful for cooking rice!
I’m so glad you posted that! My mom has always told me “don’t throw that out! Make soup with it!” and I gotta admit, you explaining that, with the cheesecloth (genius) and the boiling, I finally get it. Thanks Emily!
This is a good thing to know. Like others said, you can get so many flavors from what is left! Thanks for sharing on Hunk of Meat Monday.
Many communities all over the world have their own recipes of simple soups. These soups can be made to be consumed with the sole purpose of getting well in times …soup recipe
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