Monday, February 16, 2009

Waste Not Want Not - Homemade Chicken Broth

A few days ago I roasted a chicken, then used the leftovers for enchiladas. So today, I used the carcass to make chicken stock. As the saying goes, "waste not want not."

Why take the time to make chicken stock? First of all, it's easy, second, it's a great way to use up vegetables in the fridge that are close to going bad, still safe to eat, but not really good enough for anything but broth, third, you're using the whole animal, and fourth, homemade chicken stock has far less sodium then canned, and far more nutrition; collagen, niacin, riboflavin and calcium and plain ol' tastes better.

The only downfall to making your own stock is time. But that's workable. Plan your roast chicken around your day off. On the day you're off throw your stock ingredients in a pot with some cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for 4 hours. If you're a vegetarian and could care less about what to do with a chicken carcass you can still make a good veggie broth, putting all of your odds and ends of veggies from your fridge in a pot with water, spices, peppercorns and some kosher salt and simmer for 2 hours and you have a great veggie stock. Again, waste not want not.

What you need to make Chicken Stock:
1 chicken carcass
2 to 3 carrots
2 to 4 celery stalks ( great way to use up those little stalks you never use up)
1 onion quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed.
1 bay leaf
10 to 15 peppercorns
a sprig of thyme
a few pieces of fresh oregano
4 or 5 leaves of fresh sage
several springs of parsely
8 quarts of water

Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 hours. Strain, cool and place in containers. The broth should keep for 1 to 2 weeks in your fridge and for up to 3 months in your freezer. If you'd like a darker richer broth, roast the bones for 40 minutes in a 450 degree oven before making the stock.

Enjoy your stock!

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