Monday, August 27, 2007

Stock in the Name of Love: Chicken Stock from Scratch

When I was first told that homemade stock was tastier, cheaper, and easier than buying a big ol’ can, I almost burned the messenger for blasphemy. (I couldn’t help it. I was feeling burny.)

Since the urge to set things aflame never fully subsided, I decided to test it out on said homemade stock. I grabbed a chicken skeleton, some leftover skin (both from Marcella Hazan's Roast Chicken with Two Lemons), and stuck it all in a pot with a few vegetables and some water. An hour later, the arson urge was gone, the apartment smelled like Per Se (er, not that I’d know), and I was beating The Boyfriend off with a ladle.

In other words, the stock was stellar, and I was a moron.

Since then (let’s call it “last week”), I’m a homemade stock convert. My freezer’s full of stock popsicles (stocksicles), and a pesto recipe has already benefited greatly from the brew. Going forth, I’ll use it whenever possible.

A quick note about the attached recipe: though Calorie King estimates homemade stock at 43 calories and 1.4 grams of fat per cup, it’s really tough to compute the count accurately. Subsequently, I left those numbers out of the calculations (though I’m guessing both are pretty low).

Chicken Stock
Makes 7 cups
Adapted from Tyler Florence.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, cut in large chunks
2 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
1 onion, halved
1 garlic bulb, halved
1-1/2 lbs reserved chicken bones and various parts
2 quarts cold water
4 sprigs fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves

1) In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If you're afraid of the garlic burning, add it during the last 30 seconds.) Add chicken bones, water, parsley, thyme and bay leaves. Turn heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the stock into a large bowl. Throw the solids out.

2) Place in fridge overnight. Skim out anything on top before bagging/storing it. Will keep for a few days in the fridge or an eon in the freezer.

Approximate Price Per Serving

2 tablespoons olive oil: $0.16
2 carrots, cut in large chunks: $0.24
2 celery stalks, cut in large chunks: $0.25
1 onion, halved: $0.18
1 garlic bulb, halved: $0.25
1-1/2 lbs chicken bones and parts: FREE (leftover from paid-for chicken)
2 quarts cold water: FREE
4 sprigs fresh parsley: $0.15
4 sprigs fresh thyme: $0.30
2 bay leaves: $0.10
TOTAL: $1.63
PER SERVING (TOTAL/7): $0.23 `

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Anonymous said...

I frequently buy roasted chicken from Costco. We get dinner for 2 adults and 2 children, chicken salad for 2 lunches, and the best for last - stock!

I just drop the carcass into a stock pot and add the following:

2-3 carrots, broken in half
2 stalks celery, broken in half,
1 onion with skin, cut in half
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves
5 peppercorns
3 whole cloves
water to cover

Simmer for several hours. With the longer simmering time, there is no need to chop the veggies.

clay said...

Kris, great site, all this interst in food and yet no invite for dinner, must have been lost in the mail...
i know this is the incorrect article for this comment, but back in kansas i would often take a grease pen to mark up the cows in anticipation of tasty meat. i didn't get out much back then; chicks thought i was weird.

Kris said...

Thanks, Anon. Good suggestions.

Clay! I'll send the invite if you bring the cow. You Kansans is crazy.