I had a big cooking session at the weekend and thought I’d use the leftover chicken I had to make some Chicken Stock. When I have the time to cook I like to make things like stock or bone broth, as I can freeze large amounts and use them as the basis for many dishes over the next two or three months. Stock forms the basis of so many meals, such as soups, sauces, stews and curries. I always separate the stock into small batches before I freeze so I can just defrost the amount I need.There seem to be a lot of different ways of making stock and bone broth. I like to keep mine as uncomplicated as possible as I’d rather add herbs and spices into the meal I use the stock for – not be limited by how I made the stock.
Out of interest, I had a look at the ingredients in the ready-made supermarket Chicken Stocks.
Campbell’s Real Chicken Stock: -
Chicken Stock (97%) (Water, Chicken, Herb Extracts), Glucose, Salt, Yeast Extract (Contains Barley), Natural Flavour.
Continental Stock Pot Chicken: -
Concentrated chicken stock (67%) (vegetables (onion, carrot, garlic), water, chicken, herbs, spices), salt, flavours (contain wheat), sugar, vegetable fat, yeast extract, thickners (xanthin gum, locust bean gum), natural colour (carotene)
Massel Chicken Stock: -
Water, Maltodextrin (Corn), Sea Salt, Natural Vegetable Flavours, Dehydrated Vegetables (Onion, Red Bell Pepper), Vegetable Proteins (Soy), Sugar, Yeast Extract, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Black Pepper.
Coles Chicken Stock: -
Chicken Stock* (97%) (Water, Chicken, Onion, Carrot, Celery, Bay Leaf), Natural Flavours, Yeast Extract, Sugar, Salt, Vegetable Powders (Onion, Garlic, Sweet Corn), Black Pepper, Vegetable Extract Powder
*Reconstituted from concentrated stock
The shop-bought varieties have so many more ingredients than my home-made version. I can’t understand why sugar and flavours need to be added to stock, never mind “vegetable” fat, soy and colours (dare I ask what colour is it before they add the colouring?) I might be wrong, but I’d be surprised if the manufacturers went to the same lengths I do to get good quality free ranged chicken…
I much prefer making my own as it uses up leftovers that could otherwise be wasted – and as it pretty much looks after itself, it isn’t much effort to make at all.
How I Make Chicken Stock: -
I had already roasted a chicken and had a few other pieces left over, so I broke it up and put it in my largest pan. I roughly chopped up a couple of carrots, a couple of onions and some celery – without peeling them. I added a couple of bay leaves to the pot and added water until the pot was almost full. I then bought it to the boil, before reducing the heat to a simmer and then I reduced the heat further. Every so often I skimmed the top with a spoon to get rid of any residue that rose up. I let this continue for three or four hours whilst getting on with the rest of my cooking, adding water as required.
I then strained the mixture and discarded the bones and vegetable remains, leaving the stock. I cooled this quickly by putting the pot in a sink of cold water before refrigerating it. Once cool I separated it into individual sized portions to freeze until I need them.
I’d love to hear how you make stock and what you use it for?