Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chicken Stocks Smell Good

The remnants of chicken and an interesting book.
In the last posting here we made a chicken, brined it, roasted it, consumed it, fed it to ours rats or other various pets and then we got yelled at by the wife or husband for leaving carrot shavings in the sink overnight and cooking to much fatty food.  There were also bones, anywhere from 2-3 whole pounds of bones depending on the size of the bird and what I didn't feed to my pet rats I saved to make one of the most basic components of cooking, stock.  Good stock beats the pants off of anything that you can buy at the store.  Not only does it lend a nice aroma to your house during the 4-5 hour process of making it, but it is the foundation of so many dishes from risotto to sauces to soups. Today I'm going to run you through a fairly basic stock with a little help from Michael Ruhlman's Ratio.

As you can see by the title of the book we are going to use a ratio here to make our stock, 3-2.  Simply, it is 3 parts water to 2 parts bone.  I had 2 pounds of chicken bones left, so I used 3 pounds of water (6 cups) to produce it.   The rest of the ingredients were as follows:

Almost done, 1 more hour.
1/2 pound onion (I used 1/4 pd. leeks & 1/4 pd. onions)
1/4 pound celery
1/4 pound carrot
4 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. of black peppercorns (crushed of course, you can also roast them a bit first)
3 sprigs or so of thyme
small bundle of parsley

Once you have your chicken bones and COLD water in the pot bring you temperature up to just below a simmer (180 F) then drop the temp to low, skim the congealed junk (proteins and foam) off the top, and let that baby sit for 4 hours or so.   During the last hour of cooking add the remaining ingredients listed above to finish the stock. Additions will cool the stock so, bring back to a simmer then reduce the heat to low again and give it another 45-60 minutes to steep.
Not just for hair or hippies.

Finally, remove the large pieces of bone and discard, run the stock through a fine mesh strainer or chinoise then repeat the process again through some cheese cloth. For some bizarre reason I can not find cheesecloth in Lincoln, NE so, I just use a bandanna that I stole from my wife, she wasn't happy but it works just fine and I can simply wash it.  Throw the freshly strained stock in the fridge to cool and store.  It will keep for 7 days in the fridge and a month or so in the freezer.  Be careful not to keep around onions or other things that will impart odors on the stock because it will pick them up.

There ya have it, either store in a ziplock bag or nice sealable tupperware and you have yourself roughly 4 cups of chicken stock to use on whatever your heart desires.  My wife used it immediately after I made it for some mad wive's breakfast risotto.  Till next time.

I was going to use you for leek soup, but...


  1. Thank you for the recipe. I will make this chicken stock soon, since I cook soups very often for my kids.

  2. You can also try roasting the bones a bit before you make the stock, it will darken the color and give it a bit different flavor. I tend to just do it the way I've discussed above, but it works well the other way.

  3. Thanks for linking to us, Chris! We just found out about your blog. FYI, it caught our eye when you said 'you can't find cheesecloth in Lincoln'. Well, we happen to have unbleached cheesecloth made for cooking. Also cooking twine, which is impossible to find!

    Martin and Carol at The Saucy Cook

  4. You guys are welcome, thanks for the tip. The cooking twine has been an impossible item to find. I've found a small bit of 100% cotton twine in the hardware section at some evil large box store, but the cheesecloth has been hard to come by. Though I've been using a bandanna I've stolen from my wife, it works well for some things. When I get a day off between work and school I will most definitely make it out to the shop. Thanks.

  5. I tried to make the chicken stock and trully was very tasty. I used it in cooking soup, pasta and rice for my kids. They loved it!! Thanks once more!