Though I am no stranger to using chicken stock cubes in the past I wanted to try making my own to get the one notch closer to full paleo, plus to save some money and do something interesting with a chicken carcass. My post yesterday showed you how to get a lot of chicken for your money and this boosts your savings and is very easy to do. The amount of chicken stock you will actually get depends on two things: the size of the pot you make it in and the amount of water your add (obviously). I’ve not given a ‘set’ amount of water as it will depend on your pot, at a rough estimate I would say I used about 1-1½ litres of water but that’s a pure guess.
Homemade Chicken Stock
Keep frozen once made for easy use
1 Chicken Carcass, raw plus any spare bits (see AAA)
1 Large/2 Medium White Onions, skinned and halved
Several Sprigs of Fresh Oregano, Thyme, Parsley (alternatively use 1 Bouquet Garni)
2 Dried Bay Leaves
1 tbsp Whole Black Pepper Corns
Cold Water, enough to cover the chicken carcass
Place the chicken carcass and any spare bony bits which can’t eat into a large pot. With your fresh sprigs of herbs tie them together with some clean white string (not blue string, we don’t want a Bridget Jones moment) to form your Bouquet Garni. You can get ready made Bouquet Garni from supermarkets either in powder form or in tea bag form. I personally saw someone making these by hand and wanted to try (it’s really easy and you know exactly whats in the stock).
Add the Bouquet Garni, bay leaves and onions to the pot along with the whole black pepper corns and cover with cold water.
The secret, I’ve been told by The Culinary Coach, is to use cold water, bring to the boil and once boiling lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Additionally you get more flavour from a raw chicken carcass than a cooked one though you can use a cooked one if you want to use it up.
Once it has simmered for 2 hours it will have turned a lovely golden colour. Remove the carcass, Bouquet Garni, onions and peppercorns, being careful not to lose any of that precious liquid. Finally pour the whole mixture through a strainer and into another bowel. Allow the stock to cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning skim off the fat which has solidified on top and pour the remaining liquid into bags or containers and freeze. Another really useful tip from The Culinary Coach is if you put the stock in a freezer bag, put the freezer bag in another, solid container; this will allow you to freeze the stock in blocks. It also allows you to measure out the volume of stock in each block so if you freeze it in 100mL blocks (for example) you can easily and accurately add the stock to your recipes.
Once frozen simply remove the bag from the container and you have a nice block shape to store easily in the freezer.