My mother would no sooner toss out a roasted chicken carcass than she would rob a bank. Consequently, neither would I. But I’m shocked at the number of roast chicken remains I’ve seen go in the trash over the years (mind you, I’ve rescued some, too). Is it because the cooks don’t know how to make chicken stock? Or because they think it is too much work? People, listen. Even if it’s a store bought roasted chicken that came home with you in one of those end-of-the-day-what-will-I-feed-my-family moments of panic, you can use it to make chicken stock. And I promise it’s easy.
Making your own stock means that you will eliminate the cans that store-bought stock comes in along with questionable ingredients and the environmental issues that come with purchasing a product that may have been shipped halfway around the world.
You could follow a specific recipe, but you know how I feel about measuring. My method probably wouldn’t be approved by Julia Child, but it works and it’s easy.
Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe
- 1-2 chicken carcasses
- 2-4 handfuls of vegetables, roughly chopped (This is where you clean out your refrigerator crisper. Pull out the limp veggies you haven’t used all week; celery, carrots, onion, garlic, greens – they’re all fair game.)
Place the chicken carcasses in a stock pot along with the vegetables. Fill the pot with water to within 3″ of the top. Bring to a low boil, then simmer (with the lid on, of course) for 2-3 hours. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the chicken bones and vegetables. If you want pristine broth, you can strain it, but I rarely do. Refrigerate the broth for several hours or overnight, and skim off the fat. Divide into the freezer container of your choice (mind the head space if you’re using glass) and freeze for later use. I use this homemade broth when I make polenta, risotto, and soups.
If you have a slow cooker, you can toss your ingredients in and let it cook on slow heat all day. That’ll work, too.