It’s full blown winter here in the mountains of western North Carolina and we are currently under almost a foot of snow. Being cooped up inside makes me want to cook yummy things and drink yummy beverages with a blazing fire in the wood stove. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing these past few days – all with an almost 1 year old keeping me on my toes constantly.
At some point, Michael braved the roads and ventured out to the market and got me a whole chicken. I was craving Chicken & Dumplings soup (recipe coming soon!) and felt this weather required that we have homemade soup on hand.
Have you ever looked to see how much sodium is in store bought chicken stock? Even the “low sodium” kind? Have you ever tasted store bought chicken stock in it’s unaltered form? It’s not very tasty. In fact, it’s a bit like eating cardboard. Okay, again, I’m probably being dramatic, but seriously it’s pathetic. Even the organic kind.
Do you have any idea how easy it is to make your own chicken stock and how much healthier it is for you? It’s also super flavorful and without all the added ingredients you can’t pronounce or have the slightest clue as to what it is without doing a Google search.
Chicken stock is so simple to make and it freezes easily. Once you start making your own stock you won’t be able to go back to buying store bought anymore.
Tools you will need:
- A stock pot
- A muffin pan – you’ll see why! Be prepared to have your mind blown!
Chop all your veggies up and measure out your herbs and spices.
Rinse your chicken and take the giblets out. Don’t throw them away!
Place your veggies, herbs & spices, chicken, and giblets in a large stock pot. Add just enough water to cover the chicken. Bring the pot to a boil then simmer partially covered for 3-3.5 hours (or until the chicken is cooked). Be sure to periodically skim off the impurities that float to the top.
Strain the liquid and discard the veggies, herbs & spices, and giblets. Save the chicken for later use (stay tuned for my Chicken & Dumplings soup recipe!). Add salt and pepper to taste.
So you are probably wondering, why is she telling me I need a muffin pan? Martha Stewart is why!
I learned this little trick from the kitchen goddess herself. A large 12 muffin cup pan is exactly 12 individual cups. That’s right! If you are making stock to save for later use, freeze it in a muffin pan. Once frozen, pop each stock muffin out and store it. Now you have individual frozen cups so that when you need 2 cups of broth later on all you have to do it take out 2 stock muffins and leave the rest in the freezer. You will NEVER waste stock ever again! Thanks Martha! 🙂
Once you realize how easy it is to make your own stock and how much more flavorful your recipes utilizing stock are, you will stop buying store bought all together. Also, it is WAY cheaper to do it this way. Oh! And be sure to save the chicken bones! You’ll be able to get another batch of stock using them. Just repeat this process and double the simmer time.
Happy stock making! Let me know how it goes! If you have your own stock recipe or you tweaked mine feel free to share it in the comments section 🙂