Make and Freeze Homemade Chicken Stock

Freezing chicken stockChicken broth or stock* is a required ingredient in many of our holiday staples. Have you ever made your own? The other day I roasted a chicken, and once I had cut all the meat off the bones, I decided to make stock from the remainder. It saves money by getting value out of something you’d just through away, and has a richer taste and texture than the canned broth from the grocery store–plus it’s healthy! If you don’t usually roast chicken, this is a great thing to do with the leftover bones from your typical grocery store rotisserie chicken. Or with the thanksgiving or christmas turkey**.

Here is a tutorial/”how-to” on how I do it!

In a large pot, place your chicken carcass. You don’t *have* to add anything else, but adding celery, onions, carrots and/or herbs (like rosemary, thyme, bay leaves) will make your broth even more flavorful. Cover everything in your pot with water (the amount of water determines the amount of stock you make), and turn on high heat, until it starts to simmer. Turn the heat down to low and let simmer uncovered for at least 2-3 hours, or longer. Add more water if necessary to keep chicken bones submerged. (The strength will depend on how long you cook it, the amount of water. If you cook longer with less water, you’ll reduce the stock and make it stronger)

Turn off heat and strain so you just have liquid. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The liquid will solidify into a soft jello-like consistency. The fat will solidify on top, scrape that off with a spoon and discard.

Use within several days, or freeze. When freezing, I like to scoop into individual portions for ease of use later. For this, I used silicone muffin cups*** with about 1/4 cup in each. Put the muffin cups in the freezer for several hours until frozen, then remove stock from cups and store in a freezer bag. (Be sure to label the bag with the date, and the amount of each portion) That way you can easily pull out what you need later. It should be good for 6 months or so in the freezer.

I’m not an expert chef or anything, and I’m sure there are other methods, but this is easy and works for me :)

*I’m not really sure of the difference, I think stock is made with the bones and thickens up in the fridge, and broth just with meat, but I’m using the two terms interchangeably here.
**You can, of course, do this with any meat, not just poultry, but I find chicken stock to be the most useful.
***If you don’t have that, try ice cube trays, or anything you can easily remove frozen liquid from.

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