Friday, March 2, 2012

Homemade Chicken Stock

So I did something this week that I've wanted to do for years. I'm not sure what finally propelled me to do it...but I made homemade chicken stock for the first time. Kind of embarrassing to admit that,  because I'm sure there are a lot of serious cooks out there who've been doing this for years. I know that's how my grandmother did it. Maybe my mom too? Back in the day, I never cared enough about being in the kitchen to observe it, if she did.

dump it all in the pot...cover it with water

Anyhoo, remember the Balsamic Roasted Chicken I made this week? That was beyond finger-lickin'-good? The next day I got up my courage to make my own chicken stock with the leftover chicken carcass and drippings, using this recipe from Affairs of Living (she's got a fab recipe for Chicken Stock and one for Veggie Stock too, for all you vegans.) 

I basically dumped everything in my biggest stockpot and covered it with water. I boiled it for a couple of minutes to get rid of any pesky bacteria. Than I dumped the whole thing in my crockpot and let it simmer on low for almost 24 hours! With the amount of stock it made, I could have frozen it and used it for several dishes. Instead, with there being a lot of sickness in my house this week, I decided to just make one enormous pot of soup with it. Either way, judging from the amount of stock it produced, I figure it saved me at least $15. This is not the cheapest of lifestyles, so every bit helps, right?  

I then used it to make a really lovely, healing sort of soup with kale and quinoa, which we were able to eat on for two days. I forgot to take any pictures of it before it got eaten up! Rookie. Trust me. It's good. (I'll have to write the recipe down later.) The homemade stock had such a wholesome flavor. And literally, just as I was typing this post, I realized that it didn't hurt my insides the way that store-bought stocks usually do. I buy the gluten-free, organic stocks...but still...something was different about homemade. Verrrry interesting....

I'm considering making a whole roasted chicken once a week. Caleb could use the additional calories from the dark family would think they had died and gone to heaven...and I could start freezing my own stock I make from the leftovers. I think I'll try it!

(...And this is yet another one of those moments where I think, who is this person? When my husband and I met, I couldn't even cook a take n' bake pizza without burning it! My cooking skills were the laughing stock of my family! And now...I'm cooking things entirely from scratch, often making up the recipe myself, and they are GOOD. Seriously. If I was able to experience a transformation like this, anybody can!)

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