Hello fellow Spartans!
I can't wait for Fall weather--can you? I am looking forward to Fall cooking, too--chili and soups and stews, and slow cooking. Ugh. I'm hungry already.
One of the things I like to do to make my dishes even more delicious is to make my own chicken stock. When whole chickens go on sale ($ .69/lb. or less is the bargain I look for) I buy several and roast them, and pick the meat and place it in portions in the freezer. Then, I take all those leftover chicken bones and make several gallons of chicken stock. It's an all day process that I enjoy, but I understand that not everyone has time for such a task--and not everyone would find the enjoyment in it either. But everyone likes homemade chicken stock, and so I am going to share my simplified version of homemade chicken stock with you! The best part? It starts with the bones leftover from a rotisserie chicken--so don't throw those bones away! I hope you'll give it a try.
What you'll need:
One leftover rotisserie chicken carcass, meat removed (weird to use the word carcass-but that's what it is!)
1 carrot, rinsed
1/2 onion, skin still on, rinsed
1 stalk celery, rinsed
1 bay leaf, 4 or 5 peppercorns, pinch of thyme (optional)
1 tsp salt, give or take
cold filtered water
Simply place all ingredients in a stock pot that accommodates all ingredients and fill with cold water until everything is covered. On your stove, bring the ingredients to a boil, and once you've reached a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for an hour or so, uncovered and you'll have gorgeous chicken stock. Much of the water will evaporate--this is what you want! (I normally end up with just at a quart of stock after simmering for an hour.) Strain your chicken stock through a sieve and discard of solids.
I like to refrigerate the stock so that I can remove the majority of the fat/impurities. Professional chefs would hover over their stock as they made it and skim the top to remove impurities. Well, I'm not a professional and with a baby toddling around, I have better things to do than to skim the surface of my stock--don't you? So, I refrigerate the stock for a few hours and let it "set up" and all of the fat and impurities rise to the top and congeal. Then you can easily remove it with a spoon-- ta da! (Your refrigerated stock will be the consistency of soft jell-o, don't let it scare you! That's how it's supposed to be.)
Refrigerated stock with fat and impurities:
Not perfect, but much better looking, huh?
Now, go and use your homemade chicken stock for something delicious!
Soon I'll be sharing how I used my batch of the easiest chicken stock ever... but you'll have to come back to see! And please remember that the $40 Cookware.com giveaway is still available!
Oh and want a preview of the Saturday's sweet treat of the week?