Monday, August 5, 2013

Clean Chicken Stock

Once a month I challenge you to make your own stock--any kind--beef, chicken, shrimp, clam, etc.  For the following 5 reasons:

1. It's cheaper
2. It's clean
3. One pot produces almost 10 3 cup containers of stock
4. You can freeze it and it will last about 6-9 months frozen.
5.  Stock is essential to have on hand so stock in the freezer is like saving money for every recipe you need it for. 

Don't believe me--try it and thank me later. Take a couple hours once a month to make a stock and freeze it to have on hand.  You can make as little or as much as you want.  You can even do different size containers for what you might want it for--ie, I have containers which have 3 cups in it and once which has 5 cups.  The 5 cups will be great in the winter for a hearty vegetable soup.

Clean Chicken Stock
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Medium Size Containers Needed: About 10

I'd like to quickly compare the ingredients, price, and quantity of my stock with some of the leading brands.  In this case we will be discussing College Inn, which if I was going to use it would be my preferred. 

My Ingredients:

1. 6-7 lb chicken (on sale at $0.99 a pound---buy chicken when it is on sale)
2. 10 Carrots ( $0.68 for the entire package)
3. 10 Celery Stalks ($0.89 for the entire package)
4.  1 Medium Size White Onion (about $0.20)
5. 4 Bay Leaves (should have this in your pantry at all times---about 20 is $2.80)
6.  Parsley ($ 1.49 on sale--should have this in your pantry at all times anyway)
7. Salt and Pepper (Salt---large container is about $0.99,  Pepper is about $1.49 for this large container)

There Ingredients:
Um...what exactly is Xanthan gum?  I'll look it up for you--I'm so sweet.  Google says it is:

xan·than gum  /ˈzanTHən/ 

Noun: A substance produced by bacterial fermentation or synthetically and used in foods as a gelling agent and thickener.

 Oh's a bacterial fermentation process.  Yeah go ahead, eat that.     Now, will it kill you--probably not.  Can you save money and avoid it by making your own--yes.  Don't be lazy now.  We've come too far for you to get lazy on me now.

 My Quantity: 280 fluid ounces or about 35 cups, roughly

There Quantity: 32 ounces--or about 4 cups per container

My Price:  $12.77--I over estimated my price in case you didn't have the spices I suggest in your cabinet.

There Price: $3.49--on sale 

Okay okay mine seems more expensive right?  Now check this out:

My stock per cup:  Costs roughly $0.36 a cup

There stock per cup: Costs roughly $0.87 per cup. 

 You would need to buy almost 9 containers of College Inn at $3.49 a container in order to have as much stock as I have frozen right now--that equals a whopping $31.41.  See where I am headed with this right now?  Plus---you would now have stock on hand for a recipe you might want to make or I suggest and you wouldn't have to remember to buy it at the grocery store. BAMMMM

One last thing--I promise

When you buy their stock what aren't you getting--THE CHICKEN.  Your paying more and not even getting the chicken from which the stock was made.  With my recipe you get the chicken to which you can use throughout the week in at least two different recipes.   I plan to use it to make: Sesame Chicken tonight, and Clean Shrimp Jambalaya Thursday. Again--BAMMM

Okay Okay, now on to what you all have been waiting for:  The recipe 


1. 6-7 lb chicken
2. 10 Carrots
3. 10 Celery Stalks
4.  1 Medium Size White Onio
5. 4 Bay Leaves
6.  2 tbsp Parsley
7. 1 tbsp Salt
8. 2 tbsp Pepper

 1.  Take the inside nasty bag of whatever out of the inside of the chicken--you know the hearts and lungs and all. Throw that shit away--or use it to go fishing I guess.  Crabbies like chicken necks.
2. Place the chicken at the bottom of a HUGE pot---deep and wide like this one:
3.  Cut the tops and bottoms off the carrots and scrub.  Throw on top of the chicken---no NEED to dice them, unless u want to make soup with this stock recipe.
4. Cut the tops and bottoms off the celery and scrub well---throw on top of everything.
5. Cut the onion in half, remove the skin,  and throw on top of everything.

6. Place 4 bay leaves and above listed spices in the pot---NOTICE: If you plan to make soup remember every single bay leaf that goes in must come out before serving--bay leaves are not edible.
7. Fill the pot with water until it is about 6 inches from the top--the entire chicken must be covered.
8.  Put the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the stock to a boil.  This may take about 30 minutes to boil, there is a lot of water.
9.  Once the stock boils reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer for 2 1/2 3- hours.  The chicken usually tells you when it's done by rising to the top of the pot.  After it rises give it at least another half hour after that.
10.  Turn off the heat and pull the chicken out of the pot.   As you can see--mine fell apart. Set this aside for at least an hour and let it cool.  The pull it and save it in bags.  Discard the bones, skin, and fat.
 11.  The vegetables and stock are you will need to skim the fat off the top.  The bones in the chicken make fat in the soup, which is natural.  Anything boiled with fat will make fat in the stock. Just skim it off.

12.  So you will need to place a pot in the sink with a strainer over top of it.  Strain out the veggies--they have done their job and unfortunately you don't need them anymore. If you happen to be making sauce today like I am then you can use the carrots and celery in the blender with your tomatoes.  Otherwise, just toss it.  It did it's job so you aren't wasting any money here.  FYI--I NEEDED TWO POTS FOR STRAINING.

Now--this is the hard part. LET IT COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE YOU PUT IT INTO CONTAINERS.  WHY?  Because we talked about this, remember?  If you put a lid on something hot the steam will produce condensation.  The condensation will then drip into your stock making it watery. patients, wait.  Plan your dinner for tonight using some of your stock, like I did.  Blah blah blah, just wait.