Chicken Stock

Preparation time 5-10 minutes         unattended simmering time 3-5 hours

Nowadays not many young people know how to make their own chicken stock, so I thought that I would show how easy it actually is to make chicken stock for instant usage or the freezer. This can also be cooked in a slow-cooker just add all the ingredients, and cook on high for eight hours.
I tend to make this after I’ve had a rotisserie chicken − I just throw the carcass in a pan with any root veg and herbs I happen to have; but, you’ll get a cleaner-tasting stock if you use a raw chicken or chicken pieces.

  • 1 chicken carcass, skin and bones
  • 2 onions peeled and quartered
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, bashed, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 large carrots cut in 2cm slices
  • 1-2 leeks cut into 2-3cm pieces
  • 3 litre water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp whole black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • Anything from the fridge that need to be used
  • Break the carcass into at least four pieces and place in a large saucepan.
  • Chop the onions, carrots and leeks and add to the saucepan.
  • Use a wide knife to bash the garlic. Place the flat side of a chef’s knife over the garlic clove. Do this on a flat, stable surface. Make sure to face the sharp edge of the blade away from you. Place your outstretched palm over the blade and push downward with a quick, light blow. The goal here isn’t to completely pulverize the garlic clove, but rather to break apart the peel from the rest of the garlic.
  • Now add the water and the herbs and anything else.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Lower the heat to 1 (the lowest setting) cover the saucepan; but leave it just open. Leave it to simmer for 3-5 hours (nearly unattended).
  • After an hour or so, remove any scum that rises to the surface with a ladle or a large spoon. Repeat as necessary.
  • After 2 hours taste if you need more salt, pepper. If you feel it’s too salty add 1-2 raw quartered potatoes to the stock, to absorb the salt.
  • Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables and chicken pieces when finished cooking.
  • Allow to cool for about half an hour then refrigerate or divide it into small plastic containers at this point and freeze, leave about 1cm air below the lid, for the soup to expand when freezing. Remember always write the contents and date on the containers, as you can’t see what’s in the containers once frozen.

PS. The stock will keep in the fridge for about 4 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months.

1 rotisserie chicken – 7 different meals

Today I purchased one rotisserie chicken; which of course, for one person, is rather extravagant. I decided to dissect the chicken into: 1 portion of deboned chicken legs; 2 portions of skin-less chicken breast; scrape and cut all remains of chicken meat off the carcasses and bones, split this in 2 portions roughly ¼ and ¾; and finally place all the bones, skin and carcasses in a large saucepan for stock.

chicken

    For the stock (makes upto 4 portions):

  • the bones, skin and carcasse
  • 1.5-2 ltr water
  • 1-2 roughly cut onions,
  • 2-4 chopped carrots,
  • 1-2 potato roughly cut
  • Herbs to taste
  • 200g green/mixed lentils
  • Let it simmer gently for 1-2 hours.
  • What I also did was hang a strainer into the pot/stock placing the lentils in the strainer; thus still part of the stock but without them getting mixed into the stock
  • Drain the stock; then add the lentils and set aside to cool.
  • Portion into 4 small containers; freeze when cool enough

As I had a portion of Bombay cooked lentils I use the ¾ chicken bits and mixed it to the lentils, added some spices, and had my lunch.

The ¼ portion of chicken meat went into a chicken mayo, spiced with garlic and chilli powder and a drop of lemon, ready for spreading tomorrow.

The 2 portions of chicken breast went straight into a small freezer bags each, and when they are cold enough, place them in my freezer.

Now – I ask – am I still extravagant? No, I think not. For £4 for the chicken & £1 for the vegetables getting food for 5-7 people depending what I do with the chicken breasts; not bad if I say so myself.