I have noticed that our food posts aren’t initially popular as other topics we’ve been writing about. I thought I would give them up all together until I realized that people are coming back well after they are posted. With that in mind, be prepared for more food stuffs! I’m hoping to order this cookbook soon so Jamie Oliver should be getting some competition around here 😀
Now that I’ve said all that, today’s post is pretty simple, but I wanted to put it out there. Last week we bought a whole, organic, free range chicken from our Farmer’s Market which we love. Ryan used, you guessed it, Jamie Oliver’s recipe for roasted chicken which is essentially the same as his pot roast. To prep the chicken, however, you stuff the cavity with a microwaved lemon (yup, that happened) and herb of choice, rosemary in our case. It turned out delicious. Ryan carved the whole bird and we saved the carcass to make stock…eventually…one day.
Finally that day came. Making stock is simple and pretty much free if you play your cards right. Back in the day when we were more in the swing of making things from scratch, I’d save ends of vegetables I used for cooking to add to a stock. I’d fill up a quart sized bag and freeze them until I was ready to make stock. I am in no way, shape or form able to think that far ahead these days. Instead, I used what we already had.
In a 6 quart dutch oven, I put in the chicken bones which still had meat and fat on them, roughly chopped up half an onion, one carrot and two stalks of celery. Really I just kind of eyeballed the vegetables I’d need. These are just to add flavor to the stock; everything, including peels and skins will get strained out. I poured in water high enough to cover most of the chicken, which was give or take three fourth’s of the pot, sprinkled a good dose of salt and pepper and simmered, covered, for a couple of hours. Within about 15 minutes, the house smelled sooooooo good.
With Ryan’s help, I strained the stock after it had cooled for some hours. Since our chicken bones were still in carcass form, I pulled that out first then poured the rest through a mesh strainer. The water level had dropped to about half of the pot giving me about 5 cups worth of stock. I plan to use some this week when I make red beans and rice. The rest I will freeze, most likely in freezer bags. I bought ice cube trays once upon a time just for this purpose, but now cannot find them. Either way, the stock should last for quite a while in the freezer until we have need for it. The real positives of making our own stock, besides the obvious savings, is the significant difference in sodium. Even low sodium store bought stocks have very high sodium contents needed for preserving. Ours is flavored mostly with fats with only a minimal amount of salt. Yea for healthier choices!