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Monday, 16 January 2012

Chicken Stock Recipe: Basic Cooking Techniques

Chicken Stock Recipe: Basic Cooking Techniques

A good home-made Chicken Stock is one of the most useful ingredients to have in your fridge or freezer, and it’s easy to make.  Once you have the basic idea, you can of course use the same method to make stock from poultry of any kind; goose, duck, turkey etc.

Home Made Chicken Stock Recipe: Ingredients

The remains of one or two cooked chickens: all the bones, skin, trimmings and scraps of meat etc, plus the giblets (raw or cooked) if you have them
One onion, peeled and halved
One carrot, peeled and cut into a few chunks
One stick of celery, cut into a few chunks
Two to four garlic cloves, peeled
One or two bay leaves
Six to twelve whole black pepper corns
Water to cover

NO SALT – add the salt at the point of use, i.e. when you have added the stock to whatever dish you are making

Home Made Chicken Stock Recipe: Method

Put all the ingredients into a large pan or stock pot, breaking up the chicken if necessary to make it fit, and add the water to more or less cover.  Put on a high heat until the water boils, and then turn down to the lowest possible simmer – just the odd bubble breaking on the surface every now and then.  Use a heat diffusing mat if necessary.  Skim off any nasty looking scum that rises to the surface.

Continue to simmer for three to four hours, basically until the resulting broth tastes good.  Strain the liquid through a colander preferably lined with muslin or a clean cloth.  Dispose of the bones and used vegetables.

The stock is now ready for use or storage as it is, but I prefer to reduce it to concentrate the strength and flavour.  Clean the pan, or use a fresh one, tip in the strained stock, and return to a high heat.  Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by at least half, or lower if you like.

The stock will keep for a few days (or longer) in the fridge, or can be frozen for later use.  I freeze some of mine in 1 pint/half litre tubs, and some in ice cube trays.  A few cubes of frozen concentrated stock can be dropped into your stews and casseroles as required.

Variations: you can make your stock from raw bones or raw cuts such as wings and thighs.  The results are subtly different, but equally good.  A few writers insist that stocks should only be made from raw ingredients, to give a “cleaner” stock;  I strongly disagree.  Using up the remains of your roast chicken not only makes for a very tasty and useful stock, but is also thrifty and economical too.

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