Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chicken Stock

Several people have mentioned that they can't make some of the recipes I've posted because they don't have a pressure cooker. After I told them to buy one (seriously, you won't regret it), I got to thinking that maybe I should come up with a basic chicken/chicken stock recipe that everybody can use. So here you go.

1 whole fryer chicken (cleaned, giblets removed)
1 pkg celery (not just celery hearts, you want the stuff with the leafy tips)
3-4 full-size carrots
1 onion
2qts Water

Seasonings (will need twice the amount listed)
2 tsp parsley
½ tsp ground sage
½ tsp poultry seasoning 
¼ tsp thyme leaves 
¼ tsp black pepper
1-2 tsp chicken bouillon or chicken soup base (low sodium if possible)

Chop the leafy tips (about 4" off the top of the stalks) off a bunch of celery. Rinse them off and put them in a large pot or Dutch oven. Peel and cut the carrots and onions into chunks and add to the pot. (I saved a handful to put inside the chicken cavity). Add the spices and ONE quart of water. Put the chicken in the pot and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil on high, then reduce heat and let simmer for 45-60 mins. Make sure once you reduce the heat that you're only getting little bubbles around the edge of the pan and not a rolling boil. Too much liquid will evaporate otherwise and you'll lose valuable flavor. 

Let the chicken sit for about 15 minutes to cool before removing it from the pan. Carefully, cut/pick the chicken off the carcass and set aside. Strain the vegetables from the broth and return them to the pan with the chicken carcass. Set the broth aside. Add the second set of seasonings and the last quart of water. Repeat the process for cooking the stock. 

This will give you enough chicken and stock for at least two pots of chicken noodle soup, or chicken and noodles. You can freeze whatever you don't use.

(To cut back on the fat, you can let the broth cool in the fridge then skim the fat off the top before freezing/using.)

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