Chicken Stock has a rich flavor that is good to use in a variety of recipes. I prefer using homemade stocks, such as chicken, beef, vegetable or fish, because the flavor is richer, I can control the sodium and I don't have to worry about preservatives or other chemicals. Some purchased stocks have a metallic taste to me. Homemade stock doesn't have that metallic taste.
I make Chicken Stock by boiling a whole chicken with some vegetables, then straining the liquid. The aroma that fills the kitchen when making the chicken stock gives me a warm, comforting feeling.
I remove the cooked chicken meat from the stock and freeze it in one-cup portions for use in casseroles, chicken salad or any other dish that I want cooked chicken.
Once the stock cools, I store it in 2-cup freezer containers and freeze until it is needed. I like freezing in smaller containers so I can thaw and use in small portions. The smaller containers defrost faster and I don't defrost more than I need.
Using Chicken Stock in chicken soup will give you a much richer, stronger flavor than store bought varieties. Just add your favorite vegetables, chicken meat and noodles. It's a delicious soup anytime and is my favorite dish to have when I have a cold.
Replacing milk with Chicken Stock in mashed potatoes gives the mashed potatoes a rich flavor. You can use vegan butter or add a little more stock to replace the butter in mashed potatoes for dairy-free mashed potatoes.
Rice cooked in any stock is so delicious. It has such a rich flavor, I could eat it the rice by itself!
Gravy made with Chicken Stock, or any stock, is also rich in flavor. It isn't as scary to make as you might think. You heat butter or oil in a saucepan then add flour until you have a paste. Slowly add your stock and whisk constantly until thickened. You can control the sodium in homemade gravy and don't have the preservatives or other chemicals.
I hope you enjoy!
- 4 pounds whole chicken or chicken parts including bones and skin
- 1 large onion
- 4 large carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 stalks celery cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons dried thyme
- 4 tablespoons dried parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 gallons water
- Put the chicken and vegetables in a large stock pot. Add water until the chicken and vegetables are covered.
- Cook on high heat until the water begins to simmer.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low so the stock gently simmers.
- Simmer uncovered for 6-8 hours. Stir occasionally and add more hot water as needed, so the chicken and vegetables are submerged.
- Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into a heat resistant container.
- Reserve the cooked chicken meat for use in casseroles and other dishes that require cooked chicken meat.
- Let the stock cool.
- If you would like to remove fat from the stock, refrigerate overnight, then remove solidified fat from the stock.
- Stock can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- If you would like to freeze the stock, put stock in freezer containers and freeze up to 3 months. I freeze stock in 2-cup plastic containers. Don't forget to label and date your containers!
- Discard bones, vegetables and seasoning. I put these items outside so the crows can have a feast.