Making your own chicken stock is quite easy. Especially, if you eat whole chickens. In my family we eat a whole chicken about once a week. There are so many great things about a whole chicken; its cheaper per pound then chicken breasts (I typically pay $1.99 per pound for a whole chicken versus $4.99 per pound for boneless, skinless chicken breasts), a 4-5lb chicken will feed a four person family for dinner, roasting a whole chicken is easy AND you can use the carcass when you are done to make your own chicken stock.
Chicken stock can be used in soups and the stock can be frozen to have on hand when you are ready.
Chicken Stock Recipe:
1 chicken carcass (cooked whole chicken with any remaining meat)
Kosher salt to taste (generally I use about 1 tablespoon)
Veggies (this can be scraps you have left over or fresh veggies. Below is what I usually use)
3-4 Thyme sprigs
Parmesan cheese rinds (I save the rind from my parmesan cheese in the freezer and then throw them into the pot when I’m making stock. Make sure you are buying real parmesan to do this with. Real parmesan will have a thick rind, often times with writing on the actual rind.)
Place the chicken carcass, salt, veggies, thyme and parmesan rinds into a large pot. Fill the pot with water until the bones of the chicken are covered or mostly covered. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook partially covered for 1 hour.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool. Discard all the veggies, thyme, and parmesan rinds. Once the stock has fully cooled a white film may form at the top, this is usually fat/grease. You can skim that off the top if you don’t want it in your stock or you can include it with your stock, as it will add some flavor. Transfer the stock to airtight containers. The stock will hold in the refrigerator for about 3 days and in the freezer for about 3 months.
I usually store my stock in freezer bags of 2 cup proportions. Now you are ready with stock anytime you want to make a soup.
Though making stock is very easy, if I’m not feeling up to it, I will freeze my leftover chicken carcass and then make the stock when I feel up to it. I also often times forget to defrost my stock in time and think of it as I’m putting the soup together. Not a problem! Don’t try to defrost in the microwave, just empty the frozen stock into a large pot and heat it up on your stove. It will defrost in no time.
If you are looking for a fantastic roasted chicken recipe, Ina Garten at Barefoot Contessa has it.