The more I have learned about unhealthy chemicals and ingredients found in the packaging and processing of foods purchased in the grocery store, as well as the strain this process has on the environment, the more I have looked for locally grown, organic, or homemade foods as replacements for the purchase of processed prepackaged store bought food.
Homemade chicken stock is nutritious and very affordable - own image
I use a great deal of stock in cooking so making it myself helps me save money while taking charge of what goes into my stock. Homemade chicken stock has high nutritional value and by making it yourself, you can make it healthier and chemical free by choosing organic ingredients. I use either a local and sustainably raised chicken purchased at the farmers market, or an organic chicken purchased at the grocery store when the farmers market is not available. I also use all organic vegetables. This recipe uses the leftover bones from a chicken previously cooked and used for other meals.
Homemade chicken stock ingredients ready to simmer all day making the house smell warm and cozy - own image
Bones of 1 whole precooked chicken
2 celery stalks and leaves, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 white onion, roughly chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 bay leaves
1 teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
A few dashes of pepper
Method: 1. Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and fill pot with water.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 3-4 hours.
The longer you can simmer this recipe, the more nutrients you will extract from the bones and vegetables into the broth. I will often make this broth when I plan to be home for the majority of the day and simmer it all day. I like to aim for 10-12 hours when possible.
3. Strain off the bones, vegetables, and spices when simmering is complete to leave only the golden broth.
Stock will store in the freezer for several months - own image
Storage: Divide stock into freezer safe containers or zip bags; 2-4 cups portions each depending on your planned use. These will keep well in the freezer for several months.
Tip #1: The bones can be frozen for later use if you do not have the time to make broth within a few days after baking the chicken.
Tip #2: Freeze vegetable trimmings to save for use in the broth.
Tip #3: Get all the ingredients chopped and ready the night before to make it quick and easy for you to get it started simmering in the morning.
Tip #4: To reduce the amount of fat, place the finished stock in the refrigerator to cool overnight and you can skim the fat off on the top in the morning before you divide up for storage.