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Home Chicken Stock

 I have pondered for some time over the utility of posting a chicken stock recipe. 
On the negative side:
   ·   I never made the stuff until I went to school
   ·   Swenson’s canned chicken broth is cheap and well rated
   ·   It takes 2+ hours to prepare and cook, and its hot, heavy and messy
   ·   It needs containers and space to fridge and/or freeze
   ·   It's always frozen when I need it thawed

On the ‘do it anyhow’ side:
   ·   It's noticeably better than the canned stuff, especially in soups and reductions
   ·   I'm never without it now (nor without Swenson’s either, to be honest)
   ·   Canned broths are heavily salted and even more so when reduced
   ·   Bouillon cubes are an abomination
   ·   I have the pots, strainers, containers, space and time
   ·   I like chicken salad now and then

You will need a large stockpot, about 8 quarts, to cook the stock.  Most stockpots are aluminum or stainless steel.  Go cheap here, if buying.  You will need another pot to strain the stock into. It can be a little smaller. Your Dutch oven, turkey roaster or even a sturdy plastic container will do for this purpose.  Use a colander (not shown) to first-strain the stock from one pot to the other.  Then, for the final straining, use a large fine-mesh strainer such as a China cap (far right), or a chinois (large second from right) or your trusty colander lined with cheesecloth.  Finally, you will need some quart containers for the finished stock.  Plastic take-out containers with tight lids are fine.

In restaurants that make stock,  “chicken parts for stock” are collected from other dishes in preparation and/or bought from a vendor; the veggies are saved scrapes and old produce from the walk-in—all of which is thrown out after the stock is made.  I've heard stories of chefs so cheap that they recycle stock meat and veggies for staff meals, but I doubt them.  At home, look for a bargain price, but nice fresh whole chicken to make the stock.  Then, after it is finished, the large pieces of chicken can be saved and used for chicken salad. 

Thus forewarned, if you are still undeterred, here's how: 

HOME CHICKEN STOCK
Yield: about 4½  quarts 
See Abbreviations, if needed
  ·   1                  large chicken, cut up and skinned
  ·   3                  large onions, halved, peeled and roughly sliced
  ·   ¾ bunch      celery, roughly sliced
  ·   2                 medium carrots, peeling optional, ¾ –inch slices
  ·   3                 garlic cloves, cracked and peeled
  ·                      BG  (pepper corns, parsley stems, thyme and bay leaves, loose) 
  ·                      NO SALT
  ·   6 qts            water

1.  Cut the chicken in half and separate the legs, thighs and wing joints. Discard the 
      liver and heart
2.  Remove the skin from the legs, thighs, neck and breast halves
3.  Place the chicken parts into the stockpot, add the cut-up veggies, garlic and the BG 
4.  Fill the pot with water, about 6 quarts (rule: about 1½ quarts of water/lb.of chicken) 
5.  BTB covered, to save energy (20% faster, according to McGee)
6.  Immediately reduce heat to simmer, skim off foam 
7.  Simmer uncovered for two hours, skimming as necessary
8.  Place a colander, without cheesecloth, on top of the second pot and carefully drain the 
     hot stockpot
     ·   Set the chicken parts and veggies aside in a third container
     ·   Cool and wipe the stockpot clean and place the colander and cheesecloth or the 
        fine mesh strainer on top of it.  Pour back the chicken stock to strain it a second time
    ·    Immediately ladle the finished stock into plastic containers and immediately 
        place them in the freezer to cool. 
9. Separate the chicken meat from the bones and cooked veggies.  Place the meat in 
    suitable containers and immediately cool in the fridge or freezer.  Use later for 
    chicken salad. 
Note:  When using homemade stock, always BTB separately or in the process of making whatever you are making. 



 

 

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