If there was one thing that reminds me the most of my childhood, it would be the smell of chicken stock simmering on the stove. The aroma would fill the entire house. Whenever I make it, I’m transported back in time.
This is my mother’s recipe. She dictated it to me from her hospital room a few weeks before she passed away. I remember it was the first time I made something completely unassisted, at this level, in the kitchen. I was nervous but I wrote down all her tips and the recipe went off without a hitch. I’m so glad I remembered how to make her recipe because to this day I have no idea where her recipe book went after she passed away.
Here are some tips that will help in your chicken stock making:
The longer you steep your chicken stock, the better and more rich it tastes.
Tips for steeping overnight: You can leave it on a back burner of your stove covered and on a very very low flame. I prefer to do this when I know I will be home. I start the stock in the morning and then let it simmer on very low all day.
Another option is to use your slow cooker to do the stock. Slow cooker’s have safety shut off’s and things that are more trustworthy than an open flame on your stove.
Lastly, you can cool down the broth (unstrained) and then put the entire pot in your fridge overnight. Then in the morning you can strain it and jar it.
The vegetables: You can use whatever vegetables you like but keep in mind that different vegetables will change the taste and colour of the stock. I’ve always stuck to these simple and standard vegetables as outlined in the recipe below because in my opinion they taste the best.
The Meat: You can use any meat you wish! You can even use just the bones from a leftover chicken or turkey, for example. They add amazing flavour to a stock!
To get a clear broth: Skimming the particles that float to the top of your stock during the simmering process will make for a clear broth. When you strain it at the end, you can add cheesecloth to your fine mesh sieve so it catches even more particles.
Reducing the fat: Keep in mind that fat will solidify once it gets cold. After your stock has been sitting in the fridge, you will see the fat in a solid state (orange in colour) floating at the surface of your stock. Now you can easily skim off all the solidified fat from the surface and discard it.
Another way to store your stock: Carefully strain it while it’s piping hot and then jar it in glass jars right away using a funnel. Tighten the lids on the jars and then store upside down on your counter until they are completely cool. This will add a good seal to your jars and the stock will last longer in your fridge. When you go to open your stock, you will hear the lid pop! That means freshness was locked in!
Mirepoix bags: Throw any leftover veggies or herbs you have into a resealable plastic bag and into the freezer so you have it the next time you’re ready to make a stock again! This is one of my mother’s tricks!
That’s all for now! Now go make some homemade chicken stock!
- 2 large chicken legs (back attached)
- 1 large onion (cut in half)
- 1 large tomato (leaves removed and cut in half)
- 1 large carrot (roughly chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (roughly chopped)
- 10 stalks parsley
- 2 Bay leaves
- Salt, to taste
- Add chicken legs to a large stock pot and cover with cold water.
- Bring pot to a boil, and using a small skimmer, skim away any blood or fat from the surface of the water.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and add the vegetables.
- Simmer for at least 3 hours, skimming any particles that raise to the surface every hour or so (to achieve a clear broth).
- Carefully strain the broth through a fine metal sieve and let cool.
- Once the stock is cool, Ladle into glass jars. Tighten the lids of the jars really tight and store in your refrigerator for up to one month.