Thursday, November 20, 2008

wholesome homemade chicken stock

I am a reformed vegetarian.  For ten years, I stayed away from the flesh.  But then, one fateful night my love interest enticed me with a chicken burrito.  I ended up marrying him, and have been eating meat ever since.  

Even though that was almost exactly five years ago, I still had a major fear of cooking a whole chicken.  A fear and a fascination. I was determined to cook a whole bird - bones, skin and all.  And this last weekend, I did it - faced that big, pink, bumpy bird right in its decapitated neck.  It kinda grossed me out, but once it was all said and done (and fully cooked), I was proud, satisfied and ready to eat.  I followed this recipe, and it truly was Real Simple.

I can't believe I haven't done this before.  It's so cheap and so delicious - and you can literally use the whole chicken.  The next day I made chicken stock with the leftover carcass (pardon the gross word).   You can do it, too!  Here's how it started:

And here's what you need:
Chicken Stock
1 leftover chicken carcass 
1 large onion
2 stalks celery 
1 large carrot (optional)
fresh parsley (I had a ton in my herb container, you can throw in whatever herbs you prefer)
salt + pepper
water

Stick the chicken, vegetables (roughly chopped) and parsley in a large stock pot.
Add just enough water to cover the ingredients.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmering and allow to simmer uncovered for 4-6 hours.
If there is any fat on top, skim it off.
Strain into a container and allow to cool completely before you cover and put in the freezer or refrigerator.  

It'll keep in the fridge for 3 days.  Otherwise, you can put them into individual bags and freeze for later use.  This is what it ended up looking like:

All that cooked down to four little cups of rich chicken goodness.  Perfect for soups, stews, sauces... 

So, if you haven't done it already, you really ought to try it.  A whole chicken for $5 and multiple meals?  Can't beat it.

6 comments:

Liz Stambaugh said...

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thamesarino said...

yay! I love using the "whole" bird! It makes me feel better about eating the animals. You're story is funny to me b/c I am also an ex-veggie...although I had already started eating meat when my hubby and I got together... it was rare...when we met there was nothing but veggies, a bag of veggie crumbles, and maybe some salmonin my freezer... now I have roasts and bags of chicken..and ICE CREAM!!
loving your blog! : ) and that soup looks like it was tasty!

Pamela said...

Love chicken stock but have never tried it w/ the carcass...my next project!

ChristineM said...

Nothing beats homemade!

I'm enjoying your blog! Nicely done!

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LORI said...

OH, THIS IS GOOD STUFF! I TOO, HAVE "WHOLE CHICKEN" PHOBIA, SO YOU MAY HAVE JUST TURNED IT AROUND FOR ME! THANKS FOR YOUR VISIT TO MY BLOG, AND I AM SO GLAD TO HAVE FOUND YOURS!