Easy Homemade Chicken Stock

Well, it’s been almost a year since I’ve done a blog post and a lot has changed within that time. I got a new job, moved back to my home state of Michigan, bought a “previously owned” new car, payed off a student loan (one of millions!), and am feeling good! To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought about posting anything if it hadn’t been for one encouraging follower of my blog–lololi740.

I post a lot of pictures of the food I make and eat on Instagram. I love food and that’s my way of sharing my excitement about it with my friends and family. Lololi740 saw my most recent post and asked if I was going to post the recipe. Since today’s adventure was new, in a lot of ways, it feels like I should write about it.

For dinner tonight, I made Greek Lemon Rice soup, which was DELICIOUS! Before I can share that recipe, I have to start from the beginning.

Today started with an impromptu viewing of “Farmhouse Rules.” I haven’t really watched a lot of episodes, but I usually like what I see. The host, Nancy Fuller, always makes me feel inspired…like I could live on a farm and live off the land….In reality, I would probably be the WORST farm gal, but I like the idea of it–making things from scratch, knowing where my food comes from, spending time with family, etc. Good job with marketing Food Network!

Anywho, I tuned in this morning halfway through an episode where she was making things from leftovers. One of the standout things she made was chicken stock that looked SO easy! I’ve been wanting to make homemade chicken stock for, oh, I don’t know, YEARS, but never actually did it. I always seemed so intimidating. Flopping around a whole chicken (which I never handled before this year–HEY, another first!), dealing with a huge pot of boiling water sitting on the stove, finding a huge pot to accommodate a whole chicken and its accoutrement of veggies, needing to “skim foam” every once and a while. You get the just. It just seemed like I would need a lot of mental preparation to do it…that is, before I saw her make it.

Well, after listening to Nancy’s “can-do” attitude, I was propelled into action. To say that making chicken stock is easy would be an understatement. Even if you don’t buy whole chickens and roast them on a regular basis, those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store make homemade chicken stock just a few splashes away. I just happened to have a roast chicken in my fridge that I was saving for just this purpose. So I threw the chicken carcass into a pot that my boyfriend’s mother let me borrow for stock making along with:

  • 2 carrots, broken in half (no need to peel it!)
  • 2 celery stalks, broken in half
  • 1 onion, quartered (no need to peel it!)
  • 3 smashed cloves of garlic (don’t need to peel this either)
  • a few sprigs of dill (I would only use like 4 sprigs MAX, you don’t want to get yourself into a pickle!! Punny right?)
  • A few more sprigs of parsley  (use more parsley than dill)
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves

Stockpot

This is my adaptation of Nancy’s recipe, which you can find here and Ina Garten’s which you can find here. Here are the steps I followed:

1. Cover with water and let boil for at least an hour and a half. I let mine go for 2 hours but I’ve read that you can go as long as 4 for a rich flavor.

2. After you’re done cooking, scoop out the veggies and chicken with a large slotted spoon or spider. These veggies have served their purpose, so you can trash them.

3. Strain the stock through a sieve lined with a paper towel over another pot to drain off any bits (peppercorns, bay, etc.). I had to do this into two pots because I don’t have two stock pots.

4. Pour it back into the large pot to let it cool on the stove for a bit before refrigerating. You don’t want to put hot stock into your fridge because it will dramatically lower the temp in there!

5. Once it cools down you can separate it out into smaller containers and refrigerate. I just stuck the whole pot in my fridge and will separate it later this evening. You can skim off any fat a few hours later (if there is any). Freeze what you aren’t planning on using right away. I’m planning on freezing 1 cup portions for easy thawing. You can even freeze it in ice trays!

This was so simple, I plan on making more in the future! I hope you find the courage to make your own stock like I did. There’s nothing better than homemade! Check back soon for my post on using your homemade stock in my Secret Ingredient Greek Lemon and Rice Soup!

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