Monday, 13 May 2013

Quick & Easy Homemade Chicken Stock

Every single chicken roast carcass we have ends up as chicken stock.  It doesn't make a huge amount - about 750ml - which we mostly use it in risottos which we have once a week, or in homemade soup.  We do keep a supply of low salt organic chicken stock cubes in the cupboard, but homemade chicken stock has a far superior flavour.

Making chicken stock in itself is very simple.  You can add additional flavourings like garlic, carrot, onion, celery etc like Jamie's Easy Chicken Stock recipe but I never usually bother to add anything more than a bayleaf.

There seems to be some debate about timing.  Jamie's recipe I note takes 3-4 hours.  My mum, whose grandmother had a stockpot on the go everyday, said that you got all the flavour out of the carcass after 30 minutes.  I go for a bit of a halfway house of 1.5 hours usually because I'm busy doing something else.

Take the remains of your roast chicken; bones, skin, parsons nose, tendons, vegetable leftovers and plonk all of it into a medium saucepan with a lid.  Squash it all down with a wooden spoon.  You may need to break the ribcage up with your hands first.

Cover with 2 pints of boiling water and simmer with the lid on for half an hour.  You want the carcass covered with about 3cm of water.  After half an hour squash everything around again with a wooden spoon.  Simmer again for half an hour with the lid on then take the lid off.  Taste the stock.  It will probably be a bit watery so leave the lid off and leave to simmer and reduce for about half an hour.

Check the pot regularly (a timer every set 10 minutes is useful) to ensure it doesn't boil dry.  Believe me the smell of burnt chicken stock is incredibly pungent and the resulting mess is hard to get off the pan!  After about 30 minutes you should end up with 750ml of light chicken stock.  Your stock will keep 4 days in the fridge in a sealed container or 2-3 months in the freezer.

This time I used the stock I made into Canja - a simple Portuguese Chicken Broth.

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