basics dinner easy-peasy favorites Soup

Labor of Love Chicken Stock

I have a post from 2013 that’s a stock recipe, and I was trying to edit it to be closer to what I do now (which is a two day process) but it was too much work so here’s the updated scoop:

Ingredients
  • 1 chicken carcass
  • 1 large onion (halved)
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 5 garlic cloves (don’t bother peeling or chopping)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBS whole black peppercorns
  • 1 TBS salt
  • A lot of water
  • DAY ONE
    1. You’re going to re-roast the chicken bones for extra depth of flavor – that being said, preheat oven to 400
    2. Put the carcass (including leftover skin) and roasting pan in to the oven until everything is really dark brown and sizzly. Can be anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes, it really depends on size, fat left on the bones, fresh or frozen, you get the idea (see photos below).
      • This can be done either after you’ve eaten dinner OR you can be like me and just freeze all your chicken bones and then use those when you have time. If that’s your jam, just increase the baking time
    3. Immediately upon taking out of the oven add enough water to cover the bottom of the roasting pan and let sit for 20 minutes, this dissolves all the good brown bits without you having to scrape like hell to get them all.
    4. Pour all the pan contents into a large pot
      • I use a 12 quart but I am also usually doing a couple carcasses at a time
    5. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover with water
    6. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer uncovered for an hour
    7. Partially cover the pot and continue to simmer for several hours (I usually forget about the pot and do around 5). If too much water evaporates, just add more.
    8. Cover completely, refrigerate overnight with all the ingredients still in the pot
  • DAY TWO
    1. Skim the fat (if there is any – re-roasting renders out a lot of the fat left and turns it into those crucial brown bits from day 1 item 3), discard all the vegetable matter and bones, and bring just the liquid back to a boil
    2. Cover and reduce to simmer for about an hour
    3. Taste, season accordingly (I don’t add much salt at this point, you can do that later when you actually make soup etc.)
    4. Let cool on the stove top, pour into storage containers, freeze until needed

You can, of course, condense this all in to one day and skip the overnight part but it really does add another layer of flavor if you let it all chill out together for a bit. Is it really worth doing it the two-day way? Well, any time I make soup with this as a base my husband takes a bite and goes “holy shit” and our 5 year old daughter goes “DAD! No bad words!” so there’s that.

BONUS INFO:

You can follow these exact steps to make beef broth, just with beef bones instead of poultry. We do it at Christmas with the bones from our smoked prime rib, and bones I’ve saved in the freezer from any time we have steaks.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, photos of what the hell I’m talking about above. Not the prettiest photos in the game, but they’re accurate.

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