This is one of the goal’s I’ve given myself this year- try to make homemade chicken stock.  In reality, it shouldn’t be that complicated, right?  Toss some stuff in a pot, simmer for a few hours, and tada- stock!

So, here goes!  I saw Ina Garten’s show the other day- don’t even know what it’s called, I don’t normally watch cooking shows- and she was making stock, which caught my attention.  Her recipe sounds really good- and interesting.  I’ve never bought parsnips before, so…could be a fun one to try!

At any rate, I’m scaling her recipe down, mainly due to cost/lack of storage.  Her recipe will yield about 6 or 7 quarts, and while that’d be good (y’know, get all the stock you can at once), I really don’t have that much storage in our freezer.  And, 15 lbs of chicken is kinda expensive!

I bought a giant stock pot (a 21-quart monster!) at the last Macy’s One-Day sale (love those!), and it’s been sitting in storage ever since, just waiting for a project like this.  Or, when I finally decide to let E throw the crawfish boil he’s been talking about since we left New Orleans. He got really excited when he saw this pot bc it’s apparently perfect for crawfish-boiling!  Always nice when he approves of my shopping! 😉

Anyway, on w/the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 (5-pound) roasting chickens
  • 3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
  • 4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half, optional
  • 20 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Directions:

Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a 16 to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids. Chill the stock overnight. The next day, remove the surface fat. Use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

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I’ve done that, and it’s now nearly-simmering on the stove.  I have to say, already, it smells delicious!  I’ve heard that once you make your own stock, you’ll never be able to use canned stock again, bc it’s just not as good.  (I told this to my mom, who immediately said that I was shooting myself in the foot then by trying this!  Thanks, Mama…)  We’ll see how it goes!

Also- I wanted to add the list/cost of ingredients, bc I think, given the amount of stock it’ll make (and, since I’m taking the chickens out around 2-ish hours to remove/keep the meat) that it’ll be pretty cost-effective.

We went to Wegman’s (close to preschool), and here’s the list of things I didn’t already have in the fridge:

2 roasting chickens (Wegman’s brand):       about $4.50/each

parsley:                                                                    $1.29

parsnips:                                                                 $2.47

dill:                                                                           $1.99

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$14.74

I don’t think that’s terrible, bc all the veggies are organic, too.

Anyway, I’m planning to freeze this into…well, small portions.  I haven’t decided what quantities to use yet, but I should probably start clearing some space in the cluttered freezer!

Back later w/an update!

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So, after about four hours, here’s what we had:

I removed the chicken and veggies and bits from the stock pot, kept the meat, and tossed everything else.  Then, I poured the stock through a colander, and chilled it overnight.

Eesh...

This morning, I found the grossest jello-mold ever in the place of my yummy-smelling stock!

Apparently, it’s supposed to be like that- still, gross.  I skimmed off the fat from the top (per the recipe), and still, jello mold.  So, in order to use/divide this mess, I’ve added it back to the stove, added in another cup of water, and am heating it.  That seemed to do the trick!

Ah, chicken stock…

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