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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Making Your Own Chicken Stock

Instead of buying cans of chicken broth or chicken stock, you can easily (well, pretty easily) make it yourself. I make it when I need chicken breasts for chicken salad, chicken pot pie, etc. You need to use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts for this, or you can use the carcass (yucky word!) of a baked chicken instead. I prefer the chicken breasts myself...not a fan of the carcass.

Anyway, boil your chicken breasts until they are done. Cool and remove the meat needed for whatever dish you are making. I cooked a huge package and had enough meat for chicken pot pie and a large batch of chicken salad. After removing the meat, return the bones and skin to the pot or to your crock pot. (I used the crock pot and cooked it overnight.)

To this add: 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning; 2 bay leaves; 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks; one medium onion, also cut into large chunks. Cook overnight in crock pot or let it simmer on the stove on low heat for a few hours. Turn it off and let it sit until it has cooled enough to handle without burning yourself!

Then grab some ziploc bags or other containers (I use the bags because they are easy to stack once frozen). Label them according to the portions you are putting in them. I make 1/2 cup, 1 cup, and 2 cup bags. Put a fine strainer over a small bowl and ladle the broth through the strainer using a 1/2-cup measuring cup to desired amount. Pour into bags; close very carefully getting as much air out as possible and without spilling broth everywhere...not that this could happen. I wish. Lay flat in freezer until frozen, then stack to take up less space.

I did this over the weekend using about 6 large chicken breasts, and I got the following: two 2-cup bags; five 1-cup bags; and three 1/2-cup bags.

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