Elaboration: Chicken stock
August 16, 2015
A chicken stock is one of these staples to keep always on hand in the kitchen. It is used as a basis in an endless list of different elaborations such as soups, creams, stews, sauces, rices... you name them. Make your recipes stand out and prepare your own chicken stock at home. It is a snap and the taste just plays in a different league than the stock cubes or prepared stock that you can get from the supermarket. All you need is some chicken bones and carcasses, a few vegetables and to leave it simmering for a couple of hours. It is a good idea to make stock in big quantities that you can store in the freezer, ready to be used when required.
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
2 hrs 30 mins
2 hrs 40 mins
- Yields: 2.5 litres
1 - Bouquet garni (celery, thyme, parsley and bay leaf)
From the moment the water starts getting hot, a lot of fat, blood and impurities will begin to appear on the surface. All these would not contribute nicely to the final flavour of our stock so we want to skim them away using a ladle. Keep skimming the surface until no more impurities show up, which should take about 5 minutes.
Wash, peel and cut the vegetables into mirepoix. Add them to the pot together with the bouquet garni, the peppercorns and the garlic cloves, previously crushed with the heel of your hand. A stock is meant to be used in a number of different recipes, reason why we will make it as neutral as possible, not adding any salt to it.
Lower the heat and simmer slowly for 2.5 hours, skimming the surface occasionally.
The fat is less dense than the water, forming a layer on the surface. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and skim the solidified fat excess with a spoon (the picture of this recipe was taken before this step, notice the layer of fat beginning to form on the top)
Chill quickly and refrigerate or freeze. Tip: be practical and split the stock in ziplock bags of 500ml each. Label them with the date and store them in the freezer. This way you will know how many bags you need to take out and use to cook a recipe that calls for chicken stock.
Every time we prepare some recipe with chicken we reserve all the trimmings in a bag in our freezer. We even keep the carcass of a roast chicken after carving all the meat, a lot of flavour can still come out from those.