Homemade Chicken Stock
Good chicken stock is a “must-have” in my kitchen. While the commercially package stocks have gotten much better, I still prefer homemade. Making it is easy, you just have to plan ahead. My method is to cook the chicken at a medium boil for about 15 minutes covered. Then, take it off the heat, leave it covered and let it finish stewing in it’s own juices for about an hour. If you cook the tarnation out of the chicken by boiling it for several hours as I have seen some recipes suggest, you will end up with tasteless, dried out chicken. Following this method, you will not only have delicious stock, but the chicken is just plum good itself. The cooking times are for a fryer (approx. 3 lbs). If you are using a stewing hen, you need to cook that bird a much longer time. I haven’t used a hen in a long time so I can’t recommend cooking times for you. The next time I stew one, I will take note of the times and add that to this recipe.
1 whole fryer chicken (about 3 lbs)
2 quarts of water
1 medium sweet onion, cut in half
3 carrots, cut in large pieces
2 stalks celery, cut in large pieces
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. 4-1-1 seasoning
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot. There’s no need to peel the carrots or discard the ends. You are going to strain all the veggies out of the stock anyway. You can even leave the peelings on the onions. Just make sure your celery is cleaned well. Bring to a medium boil with the top on and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered and let stew in it’s own juices for at least one hour. Then, you can remove the chicken and strain out the veggies. If you have the time, place the stock in the refrigerator overnight and all the grease will congeal making removal easier. This stock freezes well.
Beginnings of homemade chicken stock