Friday, November 21, 2014

Homemade Chicken Stock

Cold weather means winters here and if you're like me that means you will be taking full advantage of soup season!

I've been hit with a cold and as such I've consumed way more store bought soup than I'd normally be ok with, and that too over the span of three days. 

Even when I make my own soup (usually at least once a week during the colder months) I usually buy store bought chicken or vegetable broth. 

While there are many low sodium varieties out there I have to say that during the winter I go through a lot of broth. If not in my soups then I'm using it in sauces or as a cooking liquid for rice and quinoa.

So all that being said I decided it was time to make some stock at home. It may sound like one of those things you just can't be bothered with but...I want to add that making your own stock will cost you nothing except your time and some electricity.

Hard to believe I know. Well here's how you can make your own healthier low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock at home, without spending extra money:

Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Preparation time: 10 minutes Total Time: 2 hours

6 cups of water
assorted vegetable scraps, peels and pieces (carrot, celery, potato etc) *about a large freezer bag full
1 small onion, quartered with peel *optional
2 cloves of garlic, halved with peel *optional
chicken bones or a carcass of a roast chicken
assorted herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary) *optional
salt to taste

Step One Place all the ingredients into a stockpot
Step Two Bring the stock to a boil (medium-high heat) and then reduce to a simmer (low heat)
Step Three Stir occasionally and skim the foam off of the top to maintain a clear broth
Step Four Allow your stock to simmer for at least an hour and a half on very low heat
Step Five Strain and discard all the vegetables and bones
Step Six After the stock cools, portion it into separate freezable containers and freeze or use it to cook with right away

Your stock will keep for about 4 days in the fridge and will keep for up to 2-3 months if you freeze it

Tips for making your own stock:
If you’d like to make this recipe vegetarian, simply omit the chicken bones and add more root vegetables.

It may help to keep a ziplock freezer bag in the freezer so as you prep your vegetables for dinner you can add to your stock bag. When you have enough scraps and time, make stock!

You can also freeze the stock into an ice cube tray for quick access to smaller portions. This is helpful for adding flavour to sauces and side dishes.

The longer your stock simmers, the more flavourful it will be, so try to give it enough time on simmer.


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