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Easy Home Made Chicken Stock

December 30, 2014

So you bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner, but you only ate a third of it.  What should you do with what’s left?

Well…   Just strip all of the meat off of the carcass and bones and make something delicious.  Just use your hands to remove it all, as most of the time, the chicken pulls right off the bone very easily.20141218_113427

 

You can make a chicken Caesar Salad, or chicken burritos, or deviled chicken for sandwiches, or even a spicy Tex-Mex style chicken casserole…   The list goes on and on…  Chicken Alfredo with pasta…  BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches with cole slaw, Thai or Chinese chicken stir fry, chicken fried rice, and so on…   I guess it really depends on what you have available in your pantry and fridge.

The real question is what do you do with that carcass and those bones?   DON’T THROW THEM AWAY!!  Make your own chicken stock with very little effort…    This is also something you can do on Thanksgiving after everybody leaves…  All of the same principles apply, you just end up with a lot more turkey stock than you do with a chicken…  I do this every year with what’s left of our 23 pound bird  (I use a bigger stock pot of course).

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Grab your stock pot, toss in all of the skin and bones…  don’t worry if there are small bits of chicken left, just get it all in there…

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Now, some folks will cover this with water and boil it as is…  but I like to add a bit more flavor, as well as nutrients, to my stock…   I add onion, carrots, and celery to mine…  You can leave the skin on the onions and carrots, and use the heart of the celery with the roots left on…  It all comes out later…   Toss them in instead of tossing them out…  In a restaurant, many chefs use all of the onion butts, celery stubs, carrot peelings, etc…   It’s the only way to make a profit in the food business…  You have to utilize all parts of your products whenever you can…

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Now everything is in the pot…   Cover the whole thing with water, plus about 2 ” over… (the veggies will float), but leave space at the top of the pot for the boil, so it doesn’t boil over and make a mess out of the stove-top.   Now, place the cover on the pot and bring it all to a boil on high for about 15 minutes. Then, with the cover still on, turn to medium low for about 2 hours…  You can use this time to make up your delicious chicken dish with all of that perfect cooked chicken you’ve got standing by… or maybe just watch a movie…

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After simmering for about 2 hours, I like to remove the lid and kick the heat back up to medium high to a rolling boil again for about 5 minutes…  In this picture, you can see that the water has reduced by about two inches…  That’s good, because its condensing the flavors it’s drawn out of all of the ingredients…

 

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Once you’ve completed this last boil,  let it rest for a while…  maybe about an hour…  just to let it cool a bit so it’s easier to work with…

 

 

 

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Now its time to strain out all of the solids…

 

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Place a large bowl or a different stock pot in your sink, with a fine colander in it.  Slowly and carefully pour the entire contents of the stock into the colander.  Lift up the colander and let all of the liquid drip out of it.  Give it a toss and a shake to be sure to get all of the liquid…   At this point, I grab a plastic kitchen trash bag, drop in all of the waste, take out all of the air and give it a good triple twist, then fold it over itself and do it again…  Instant double bagging.   This way it doesn’t contaminate the outside trash can or emit an odor while waiting for the weekly pick up.       Note: If more than an hour passes before you strain, go ahead and strain it, but then put the clear stock back into a clean pot and bring it to a boil again…

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This is your final product.  Three quarts of a rich, full-flavored, chicken stock that’s better than any store-bought stock or broth…  Besides, you’ll spend more than $10 if you bought this at the store, where here, it costs the value of 2 carrots, an onion, and a bit of celery that you probably have in your pantry and fridge already…

 

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You can put it in sealed storage containers and keep it in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to a year…

I hope this was helpful and that you’ll give this a try the next time you have chicken left overs…  If you read the Garlic soup  post from a while back, this stock works great in that recipe. You can also use this in place of plain water to make rice to add a richness and some nutrients to you side dish… Until next time, when I’ll show how I made Roasted Poblano Chicken Casserole with the left over meat…

Happy Heating !!

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