Last week, for the first time ever, I made chicken stock from scratch. It was Extremely easy and the ingredients were already purchased for other meals that week.
First I saved all the veggie scraps I could in a gallon ziplock bag in my freezer. This means all the end pieces of onions, carrot and potato shavings, celery tops and ends, and any other veggie you have leftover pieces you usually throw away. Once that bag is full you could make a vegetable stock with it by skipping the chicken or other meat part, but I also had started saving chicken scraps, bones and skin, from a large pack of chicken thigh a couple of dinners ago. Same as the veggie scraps, I put the chicken pieces in a gallon ziplock bag in the freezer.
For my chicken stock I had a full bag of veggie scraps and half a bag of chicken scraps to use. I put the chicken on the bottom of my large stock pot then put the veggies on top. Then I filled the pot with water until it just covered the scraps. Next I added about 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper. You can add fresh herbs if you have them and bay leafs too! I wanted to stick to the basics so I just added salt and pepper.
Once all your ingredients are together in the pot turn your burner on high and bring the pot to a rolling boil. This took mine awhile but depending on your burners it may be a lot fast, just keep an eye on it. Once it comes to a steady boil reduce the temperature to medium low or a simmer. Partially cover and cook for at least 4 hours, occasionally skimming the foam from the surface of the pot.
Once your stock has cooked for FOREVER, strain the golden magical liquid using a sieve, colander, or the cheese cloth/ paper towel method. Some people like to then re-boil their stock for an hour to reduce it even farther, making it easier to store in the fridge and freezer. I did not re-cook my stock, I strained it into a large bowl then strained it again into smaller jars. Once it is in jars ready to go in the fridge or freezer let it sit on the counter until the jars are cool.
If you are freezing your stock it is better to remove the excess fat that rises to the top of the jar since it isn’t necessary. However, if you are putting your stock in the fridge here is a helpful tip about the fat from:
“letting the fat settle in a layer on top of the stock as it cools acts as a protective layer against bacteria, which is found in the air. The stock will last longer in the refrigerator if you keep the fat layer on it. Just lift up the layer of fat and remove the stock when you want to use it. Every few days, bring the stock to a simmer for 10 minutes and let it cool, again with the fat forming a protective layer. Your stock can be stored in the refrigerator and used for up to a couple of weeks this way.” – Elise Bauer
This is what is left of my stock about a week after making it.
Making my own broth/stock was so easy that I am never going to back to store-bought. I already have the tools, ingredients, and time there is no reason to spend the extra money on something I can do myself! Along with stock/broth, I am going to try to start making my own breads and doughs, as well as my own tortillas!