In line with Eatocracy’s New Year’s resolution to eat better and make better use of the resources we have - and because my freezer is getting uncomfortably full - I decided to make chicken stock the other day. I’m kind of an evangelist for good stock; a surprising number of very good cooks I know don’t mess with it, saying that it’s not worth the trouble, or that the store-bought stuff is just as good. But really, the grocery-store stuff doesn’t compare to real stock in the intensity of flavor, and a batch of stock requires less than an hour’s work spread over a couple of days. Plus, I always feel virtuous when I make stock. I’m taking something that I’d ordinarily throw away and turning it into an awesome, versatile base for soups, sauces and all sorts of good things.
There are tons of ways to make stock; however, stock is incredibly forgiving and you can get a pretty good result fairly easily, with lots of chicken-y oomph - far superior to store-bought, which tends to either be metallic or over-salted to my palate. I roast a chicken every week or two in the wintertime, which means that I have lots of bones on hand. The carcasses go in the freezer, and when I run out of space, here’s what I do:
And that’s it! It looks like a lot of steps, but really, total time spent in front of the stove is less than an hour. Making stock uses what you’d ordinarily throw away, gives you the base for lots of great soups and sauces and makes the house smell great too.
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