How many times have you made a recipe that called for just 4 or 8 oz of stock so you had to waste the rest of a 14oz can? How many times have you tasted store bought canned chicken broth and thought “this canned stuff is sure salty and watery.” How many times have you had wonderful sauces at restaurants and thought to yourself that yours never taste as good? The solution to all these predicaments is to make your own stock. A good stock is the secret base to all good sauces and many recipes.
This recipe will require some special equipment and to sacrifice a high quality dinner. The special equipment needed will be a large assortment of freezable containers and lids so that you can freeze your stock in various needed quantities. The sacrifice of one high quality dinner is because good stock requires that the chickens be cooked beyond the perfect point of serving it for dinner. The chicken will most likely be dry and somewhat stringy and the vegetables will be mushy.
We suck it up here at the ol’ cave bistro and eat the dry boiled chicken and mushy vegetables when I make stock. I make enough to last for 2-3 months, so eating a dry chicken every so often isn’t that bad and is just part of the territory. Another option is to pull all the cooked chicken from the bones and freeze it to make soup some cold wet afternoon in the future, but I like this option less because it means cooking for no immediate purpose. And with how busy you are, we want to make sure you will actually take the time to make the stock as part of a dinner plan rather than continue to buy commercially prepared inferior chicken juice.
Stock is an adaptable cooking component that can be flavored during the cooking process to lend itself well to the type of cooking that you do. A lot of what we cook here is Asian influenced, so when I make stock, I add a generous amount of fresh ginger root. Now when I use it, it imparts a wonderfully subtle ginger flavor to whatever recipe I am preparing. If a more traditional flavoring is something you prefer you can leave the ginger out and add more traditional flavorings such as thyme or oregano.
So sacrifice one high quality meal every few months so that the rest of them will be better and enjoy this wonderful low sodium chicken stock in your next recipe rather than an inferior store bought salty broth.
NOTE: Read below for a nifty trick for defatting your stock so that it is literally fat free!
Quick Homemade Paleo Chicken Stock
- 2 Whole Free Range Chickens 4-5lb – Cut into quarters. Be sure to keep back and ribs and also neck if it was supplied.
- 3-4 TBS Olive Oil
- 6-8 Celery Stalks – rough cut
- 6-8 Medium Carrots – rough cut NOTE: Clean them but don’t worry about peeling them
- 2 Yellow Onions – diced
- 2-3 Bay Leaves
- 3 TBS Fresh Ginger Root – chopped fine. NOTE: Substitute a Bouquet Garni if Asian flavor not desired
- Large 6-8qt Stock pot with heavy bottom
- Numerous Tupperware type containers for freezing stock. NOTE: Ziploc bags may be used.
In large heavy bottom stock pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add all chicken pieces, skin side down, and brown well aprox 10 minutes, flipping once at the half way point. When chicken is golden brown and skin is crisp, remove it to a platter with tongs. Return pot to medium heat and add carrots, celery and onion. Saute on medium heat for aprox 10 minutes. While cooking the vegetables, use whisk or heavy metal spoon to remove browned chicken bits from bottom of stock pot. Add ginger and bay leaf and saute additional 5 minutes. Increase heat to high then add 2 cups of the water to deglaze. While bubbling, remove rest of browned bits from bottom of stock pot with spoon or wire whisk. Add chicken pieces (and drippings from platter!) back to pot along with remainder of water. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low so that pot simmers. Simmer pot for 1 hour. With slotted spoon, remove chicken, carrots, onion and celery to bowl and serve for dinner.
While enjoying dinner, keep stock pot simmering on stove over medium low heat so that stock begins to reduce. Do not boil! Turn temperature down to low if boiling is an issue. Simmer on low to reduce stock for a minimum of 1 and up to 3 hours. When reduced to desired level, remove pot from stove and allow to cool to a manageable temperature. If you are limited on refrigerator space and cannot fit a large stock pot in, remove stock from to glass casserole dishes or metal cake pans and place in fridge uncovered to cool. If space is not a concern, place entire stock pot in frig and allow to cool overnight. The next day, all the chicken fat will have risen to top of the cooled stock pot. Using a spoon, scrape off all visible chicken fat and discard. Place the cooled defatted stock in various sizes of Tupperware type containers and freeze. Be sure to label them as to what they are and the date!
To use stock for your next recipe, remove size needed from freezer. Remove lid and hold container upside down under hot running water to quickly dislodge. Place frozen stock in small pot and heat on stove to thaw, stirring occasionally.
NUTRITION INFO (Per Cup) 78 Calories, Total Fat 0.5g, Sat Fat 0.25g, Cholest 10mg, Sodium 48.6mg, Carb 1.8g, Fiber 0.3, Sugars1.1, Protein 2.2g
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