Chicken Stock from scratch

By Dan, July 12, 2014

EXAMINATION

P7040011If you eat a lot of chicken at home, make sure that you save all of the bones for a homemade chicken stock. It is easy to make, especially if you have a pressure cooker, and it is by far healthier and tastier than anything you get out of a can. If you are curious what the difference is between stock and broth, stock is made mostly with the bones whereas broth is made by cooking with the meat.

ANALYSIS

Chicken scraps and bones
3 oz carrots, cubed
3 oz celery, cubed
3 oz onion, chopped
1 Tbsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Apparatus

  • 6-quart Pressure cooker or a large stock pot

Procedure

  1. Into a pressure cooker, place the chicken bones, excess fat and skin, giblets, gizzards, small bits of the wings that frustrate people to eat, etc.
  2. Chop the veggies and add them to the pressure cooker, along with the salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf.
  3. Pour in enough water to cover everything completely, but make sure NOT to go above the “maximum fill” line.
  4. Cover with the lid and lock it down. On the stove top, turn the heat to high and bring up to pressure.
  5. When you hear the pressure release whistle, reduce the heat to low, for a steady low hiss. Cook for 40 minutes.
  6. Release the pressure and open the cooker carefully.
  7. Strain the broth into a container.
  8. Set aside the solid bits — they have given their all to the stock.
  9. Can you make stock without a pressure cooker? Sure, but it will need to simmer for at least three hours.

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DISSECTION

My special secret ingredient for cooking chicken and stock is Old Bay Seasoning. Trust me, it’s not just for seafood boils.

If you are watching your sodium, reduce the amount of seasoned salt or skip it all together. If you want to lower the fat, then trim off any skin and fat. That is the beauty of making your own stock.

Want to learn a fancy French term? Mirepoix is the mixture of chopped carrots, celery, and onion. It provides the flavor and aromatics for the stock.

Have the solid bits given their all? The bones, yes, but if there are identifiable pieces of meat in there, they will have no flavor, BUT they are still perfectly good pieces of protein. Save them for use later in chicken salad, soups, chicken dishes with your favorite sauces, whatever. Meat is meat, don't waste it!

POST-MORTEM

You can of course use this recipe for other meats as well, if you happen to have leftover bits from beef, pork, turkey, etc.

I tend to cook more chicken than other meats, so we have scraps and bones left over all the time, which we freeze to make stock with. The chicken stock then gets used in many recipes, but it is great for cooking more chicken, which continues the cycle. Chicken stock freezes very well and will keep for up to six months.

What do you think?

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