Chicken stock is a very useful cooking ingredient to have around the house. It is also extraordinarily easy to make. Cooks can make a large batch and freeze it so that chicken stock is always readily available when called for. In addition for use in soups, chicken stock also appears in a recipes from all over the world. You can also adjust your recipe to suit your needs, by introducing a wide variety of flavors to your chicken stock.
There are two basic recipes for chicken stock. These recipes can be used for any type of fowl, such as turkey, duck, or goose as well. The most basic calls for the leftover bones and meat from a cooked bird. This recipe is a great way to use all the parts of the bird, although it does require a longer cooking time. Others use fresh ingredients and either roast or braise them for flavor first.
To make chicken stock from the bones of a cooked bird, start by cooking carrots, celery, and onions in a large stock pot, using a small amount of oil with salt and pepper to taste. Once the vegetables have started to caramelize, add the bones of the chicken. Cover in cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the stove down so that it simmers, uncovered, for at least four hours. You will need to skim the chicken stock occasionally to remove foam from the surface.
After simmering, strain the chicken stock to remove the bones and vegetables. If you would like a more robust stock, simmer the chicken stock for a few more hours to reduce it before putting it away for storage. The chicken stock can be frozen or kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. As the chicken stock rests in the fridge, a layer of fat will form on the top. Leave the layer of fat on the stock, dipping underneath it for chicken stock when you need it.
To make chicken stock with fresh ingredients, loosely chop chicken backs, breasts, and legs into chunks. Saute vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onions in a stock pot with salt and pepper before adding the chicken pieces and browning for 20 minutes. You can also roast the vegetables and chicken together in the oven before adding them to a stockpot. Cover the chicken and vegetable mixture in boiling water and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Strain the chicken stock and refrigerate or freeze it for future use.