How to Make Chicken Stock
December 31, 2012
Culinary Nutritionist Natalia Hancock takes us through the simple steps involved in making your own delicious and nutritious chicken stock.
Preparing your own stock is a very nutritious and sustainable way of cooking. Chicken stock can provide nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, fluoride, potassium, chondrotin, keratin, lysine, and many other minerals that are not so abundant in our diet. Additionally, cooking with stock is a very healthy way to add flavor without adding many calories. Purchasing stocks can be expensive and many are unnecessarily high in sodium.
A great time to prepare a stock is when you have you have roasted a chicken. Whenever I roast chicken (once a week), I utilize every possible part, saving the bones and the drippings (see this post on roasting your own chicken).
Preparing the stock:
A recipe for stock need not contain exact amounts, but here are some sustainable tips to follow:
- Bones that have been eaten off of are perfect for stock; they are then submerged into boiling water, so no need to worry about germs
- Scraps of vegetables are great to use. Carrot ends and peels, celery ends and leaves, onion skins (give great color) and ends
- Other items to add: parsley, ginger peels, garlic, scallions, leeks, bay leaf, peppercorns
- Chicken juices can be added along with any other leftover scraps
- Adding an acid (lemon juice or vinegar) will help pull minerals from the bones.
Place chicken bones and vegetable scraps in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add any chicken juices if you have them. Heat to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add a squeeze of lemon or tablespoon of vinegar. Peppercorns and a bay leaf or two can be added for additional flavor. Simmer an hour or two uncovered. If your stock cooks down several inches, add more water. Once the stock has cooled, skim impurities from the top and strain into freezer-safe containers and label.
To make a vegetable stock, withhold the chicken and add extra vegetables. Shrimp and lobster shells make great stock as well. If the shrimp shells are raw, roast them in the oven on 350 for 10 minutes until they are pink then add them to the vegetable scraps in place of chicken. You can do the same with cooked meat bones as well.
So, now that you have your freezer packed with stock, here are some ideas of how to cook with it:
- In soups and stews
- In place of water when cooking grains or legumes
- In mashed potatoes
- In various other vegetable or starch purées
A proper stock is crucial when preparing my recipe for healing chicken soup.
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