I've always wanted to try to make my own chicken stock. Canned chicken stock are composed of all sorts of preservatives and contain a lot of salt. Even the low sodium kind has a high salt content. By making my own chicken stock, I know exactly what goes into it and I can add/subtract to my taste. The first step to this is to roast a chicken. It sounds and looks harder than it actually is. Roasting a chicken is actually one of the easiest dinners to throw together, and also very reasonable. A whole chicken is about $4. And if you don't want to attempt roasting your own chicken, you can use the carcass of one of those pre-cooked rotisserie chickens. Although, be aware that the seasonings may contain a lot of salt that you may not be aware of.
To roast a chicken, I usually rinse the whole chicken really well, inside and out and pat dry. I then take softened butter and slather the chicken skin. This helps the browning, and crisping of the skin. I then take my seasonings and season the skin and the inside of the chicken pretty well. I then stuff the chicken with carrots, onions and celery, the vegetable trifecta of any stock base. Then place the chicken along with extra veggies in the bottom of the roasting pan and bake until golden brown. Checking the middle of the chicken breast with a thermometer until it reads 180 degrees F, and the juices should run clear.
When you are done "feasting" on the chicken, you are left with whole lot of scrap meat and the bones. Now you are ready to start making your chicken stock! I use this stock for everything. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor to cook veggies. We have been trying to cut out oil which I used to use while doing a quick vegetable stir-fry, but now I use the chicken stock. And it is delicious. Not only is it healthier, it's much tastier! You can also use chicken stock in place of water in most recipes and you will have all the wonderful richness of flavors of the chicken and vegetables. It's great for a quick noodle soup, or even lentil/bean soups. It's quite versatile and it's freezable so if you don't want to use it all now, you can freeze it and save it for a rainy day. It's been a lifesaver in the kitchen. Especially when I've racked my brain with what we should have for dinner. And I'm sure there are many more ways to use this! Be creative! Oh and did I mention that when I made this, I was sleeping? Yep! You just throw it in before going to bed at night into the crockpot and when you wake up it's ready to go!
1 Chicken carcass
2 cups baby carrots
1 1/2cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups onions
sea salt/pepper to taste
chicken seasoning (I use Adobo)
1. Place veggies in the bottom of the crockpot and add your seasonings. Next, place the chicken carcass on top of the veggies in the crockpot.
2. Pour enough water to fill the crockpot, leaving an inch from the top of the crockpot.
3. Cover and put on low setting for 10 hours.
4. Once finished, let cool and place is jars, or plastic freezer bags to freeze. Chicken stock is good in the fridge for 1 week or the 1 month in the freezer.
Add a little twine or pretty ribbon and these would also make great gifts! Enjoy!!