Sunday, January 19, 2014

Homemade Chicken Stock

I am was all domestic and a master chef today and made some homemade chicken stock.  I am trying to find more ways to be frugal, save money, eat at home more.  All those wonderful things.  So I decided to make a whole chicken for dinner which left enough meat to also make chicken and rice later this week.  The chicken was 5.71 since I caught it on a sale.  99 cents for a bag of frozen peas (of which we at half) and noodles and gravy which was maybe 2 bucks total?  So maybe nine dollars total.  The ingredients for chicken and rice are about another 3ish dollar so fifteen dollars total.

So for fifteen bucks I got two dinners, possibly a lunch of leftovers for me if we have them, and about 5 1/2 quarts of chicken stock.  Not too bad.  And I imagine this chicken stock is much healthier than store bought because there aren't any preservatives, no added salt (although I might add a small amount next time since it could have used it), and garlic added for good health benefits.

So what I did was cooked the whole chicken seasoning it with garlic and seasoned salt with butter on the skin.  I normally use lemon pepper, but wasn't sure how that would work with making stock after.  I cooked it on low all day and then got all the meat off the bones.  

I put the bones back in the crock pot with all the juices from cooking the chicken.  I added a whole bulb of garlic cut into three pieces, two bay leaves, some parsley, a 1/4 bag of baby carrots (although I think cut whole carrots would have worked better but I didn't have any), a small handful of whole peppercorns,  and the tops to a bunch of celery stalks I had been saving.  Oh and a few tablespoons of vinegar (apple cider works best but I didn't have any of that either.  It helps get the minerals out of the bones.  Then I filled the crock pot up with water.

I cooked it on low over night for about twelve hours.  Then I strained it through a colander and a second time through this wire mesh thing we have to keep grease from splattering up since I didn't have any cheese cloth.  It worked amazingly well so now I don't have to figure out where to get cheese cloth from.  Or you know what exactly that is haha.  Master chef here I tell ya.  

What would I do differently next time?  I would cook it longer probably closer to a full day.  I would add an onion cut into chunks.  More parsley since I didn't put that much since I didn't want to ruin the stock. And a small amount of salt.  Overall I consider this a huge success since I set out to do something, it didn't fail, and I ended up with frozen chicken stock.  Yay me.  

My beautiful chicken stock