Cooking Basics: How to Make and Store Homemade Chicken Stock for Pennies:
I am about to CHANGE YOUR LIFE!! You are about to learn how to make homemade chicken stock (well actually this works with for turkey, beef or vegetable stock as well) with kitchen scraps. YES, kitchen scraps!!
That is one ingredient needed for stock (the definition of stock is that it is made from bones verses meat–giving the liquid a much richer quality.)
The other ingredient you need–brace yourselves….your kitchen scraps.
So here is one of my best money/time saving tips for cooking:
- Get a gallon size bag that is freezer safe. Every time you chop an onion, peel a carrot, or chop celery place the scraps and skins in this freezer bag. And add to it as you collect more scraps and store in the freezer. Chopping herbs? Toss the ends or wilted pieces into your scrap bag. Trimming asparagus? Toss those woody ends into the bag. Dicing veggie for a vegetable platter–toss in the ends of the veggies.
- Once you have roasted chicken, be it a whole chicken or just chicken breasts, you are ready make chicken stock.
Making the Chicken Stock:
- Place all your scraps and bones into the pan of your choice. You can see that for this batch of stock, I had carrot peels, onion peels, pepper pits, bay leaves, bones and rosemary to make this stock.
- Cover with cold water.
- Add 3-4 tablespoons kosher salt and 1 tablespoon pepper. I like to toss in a bay leaf or two as well.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for at least 3 hours or longer. (If using your crock pot–cook on low for 8-10 hours).
- Strain out the solids.
- Cool the broth and store in the fridge overnight.
- Skim off any fat that has risen to the top with a slotted spoon (this step is not necessary, but I prefer to remove the tiny bit of solid fat.)
- Store in 2-4 cup freezer safe containers.
I like to use my large 8 quart pan with a colander/steamer insert. (This means I can strain out the solids extremely easy–but if you don’t have one of these inserts, a large stock pan or even an 6-8 quart crock pot will work.)
Slow Cooker Instructions: Place your scraps, bones, and seasonings in the slow cooker and cover with water. Turn to low and let simmer 10-12 hours. I like to do this overnight.
Instant Pot Instructions: Place your ingredients in the insert for the Instant Pot. Turn the vent knob to “steaming.” Set to Soup and set timer for 60 minutes.
Once the stock has cooled, I measure out the stock into several 2 and 4 cup freezer safe containers. (I find that a recipe typically calls for 2 or 4 cups of broth at a time.) I also place some in glass jars to store in the fridge for use during the week.
For me, one batch typically yields 24 cups of stock.
I just used things I was going to throw away to make something much more flavorful than I could buy in a can. And it was just about FREE!! I just had to provide the water and salt and pepper 🙂
This takes no time at all (it can be done in the crock-pot while you are at work!) and ingredients you already have. So PLEASE stop wasting your money and make your own stock.
Then you will have money left in your grocery budget for chocolate or wine, or whatever suits your fancy!!