Chicken stock is super-easy to make, practically free, and a wonderful addition to sauces, soups, rice, and other savory dishes. If you’ve never tried making it, now’s the time to start! Here are our tips for making it even better and easier.
How to Make Stock
When carving a chicken or turkey, it’s easy to make a stock at the same time. Place all unused parts in a pot with a couple of carrots, celery stalks, and halved onions (using the skins of the onion will give the stock a nice, rich color), then heat up to boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer while you make dinner. Then turn off and skim the fat when cooled (if desired). Pour through a strainer to strain out the bones and veggies, then store in the fridge or freezer.
One mistake people frequently make when preparing stock is to place soup bones in the water after it has come to a boil. This tends to seal the bones and prevent all the flavor and nutrients from being released into the stock! The bones should be added to the cold water when the pot is first placed on the stove to allow the maximum release of flavors, nutrients, and especially the gelatinous thickening agents that add body to the stock.
To easily freeze the delicious stock you’ve just made into smaller portions even if you don’t have any empty Tupperware, line a drinking glass with a resealable plastic bag. Pour the stock into the glass until it’s about three-quarters full, then seal the bag and lay flat on a baking pan. Repeat until you’ve used up all your stock, laying the bags on top of one another. then place in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, you can stand them up on their ends and move them anywhere in the freezer that there’s room.
Do-It-Yourself Bouillon Cubes
Make homemade bouillon cubes by freezing the last dregs of the stock in ice-cube trays. Once frozen, the cubes can be stored in the freezer in resealable plastic bags until needed. They are easily defrosted in the microwave—or just toss them into a soup or sauce, and they’ll melt quickly.
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