Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An Updated Stock Recipe

Several years ago, I started using store-bought rotisserie chickens to make a quick and easy chicken stock recipe. We were so enamored of that stock (so much better than powdered bullion, people, even if my mom doesn't agree!) that I've kept making it at least once a month so that our freezer is always filled with ready-to-use, deliciously rich and nutritious chicken stock.

In the intervening years, though, my recipe has changed a bit to take full advantage of the health benefits of stock-making. In looking over the original post I realized that it's changed enough to consider it an essentially different recipe now, so rather than update that post, I thought I'd share my new method. The other one is still great if you want stock that's done in just a few hours!

To begin with, I don't buy the store rotisserie chickens anymore. I typically buy whole small chickens (depending on where I get them from, they're either the same price as the rotisserie ones or a dollar or two pricier, but much better-quality meat) and roast them (our favorite roast chicken recipe is here), or cook them "fauxtisserie style" (courtesy of Our Best Bites) by placing them on tinfoil balls in a large crockpot on low for 6-8 hours until done. We'll eat off that chicken for dinner the night I make it, and then after we're done I remove all the meat and put it in the fridge for meals later in the week. 

That night, I put the chicken carcass in a large stock pot with either a few veggies (garlic cloves, onions, and celery greens are a must; sometimes I also add carrots and potatoes), or the vegetable mirepoix with which I originally stuffed the chicken (because I'm lazy like that). Sometimes I add herbs and sometimes I don't, depending on my mood. (If I do, my favorites are parsley, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. Sometimes a bay leaf.)

Along with the chicken carcass I add a good amount of kosher salt and about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. I then fill the stock pot with cold water, cover it, and let it sit for an hour. After the hour is up—usually when I'm heading up to bed—I'll turn the stove on, bring the stock to a quick boil, and then reduce all the way to low and let it simmer overnight. I keep it at a very low simmer the rest of the next day, adding more water if it's decreasing a lot, and then strain and package it that evening after dinner. The result is an incredibly rich and delicious stock that adds a fantastic flavor to all kinds of recipes and is jam-packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. It's also rich enough to dilute with water for most recipes and still have a great-tasting soup or sauce.

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