So you made your Roast Chicken, now what? Chicken stock of course! As I mentioned, we make roast chicken regularly and one of the biggest benefits is homemade stock. While there are some good options out there now for canned stock, nothing beats homemade. It really is a simple process with simple ingredients and really worth the time and effort. We use stock in everything, especially soups and sauces. When you keep some on hand in the freezer, you always have the start of a quick meal on hand. It is also a great way to clean out the fridge: you can use all kinds of vegetables, herbs and aromatics to flavor your stock. Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors; just know that different ingredients can change the color of the stock as well as the flavor. My great grandmother’s secret addition was a few cloves stuck into the onions, just a little something special. This is a good basic stock recipe that I fall back on; it always produces a good flavorful stock.
P.S. Don’t forget when you are done with your Thanksgiving turkey to save the carcass for turkey stock. Turkey soup is one of the best parts of Thanksgiving after all!
1 roast chicken carcass
1 large onion, quartered
4 carrots, cut in 1/2
4 ribs celery, cut in 1/2
Small bouquet fresh herbs including thyme, parsley, etc.
2 bay leaves
Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2-4 cloves, stuck in the onion pieces
2 whole cloves garlic
2 gallons cold water
Place chicken, vegetables, and herbs and spices in 12-quart stockpot. Cover with cold water so the chicken and vegetables are submerged.
Cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the liquid. Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon a couple times for the first hour of cooking and as needed each hour for the next 2 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for 3-5 hours until you have a rich colored stock.
Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot or heatproof container discarding the solids.
Allow to cool then place in refrigerator overnight. Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and store in container with lid in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months. Bring to a boil before use.
P.P.S. If you don’t have an already roasted chicken, you can buy some chicken bones and pieces and roast them with a little olive oil at 450° for 30-40 minutes before making your stock.