Saturday, November 21, 2009

Homemade Basic Chicken Stock

Chicken stock has almost endless uses, from soup bases to gravies and making your own home made stock is considerably cheaper than buying from the shops. But not only is making your own stock cheaper, you also have the peace of mind knowing that nil preservatives or additives have been added.   

For ease of use, after you've made your batch of stock, freeze them in ice cube trays, especially for those recipes that only require a few tablespoons of stock or freeze them in small containers. This stock freezes well and will keep for up to 3 months. After trying home-made stock you will never want the shop-bought kind again!
I used my slow cooker for this recipe, mainly because I don't have a large stockpot to fit in all the ingredients and because it's so much easier to let it simmer for hours on its own without the need for constant supervision.

Makes approx. 3 litres of stock

2 chicken carcasses
1 large onion, quartered
1 leek (white part only)
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, halved
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, bruised with side of a knife
1 tbs sea salt
1 tsp whole black peppercorns (optional)

  1. Place chicken carcasses in a large stockpot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. 
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients into the stock pt. Simmer covered for 3 to 4 hours, skimming the foam/scum as it comes to the surface.   
  3. Strain the stock through a fine sieve and then allow to cool uncovered.  
  4. After skimming the fat from the cooled stock, use or freeze immediately. Freeze in ice cube trays or bags, or for larger amounts in small re-closable freezer bags or in small containers.

Notes & Tips

You can buy chicken carcasses from your local butcher or chicken shop. I paid $1 for a bag and it contained 4 chicken carcasses!      

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