Sunday, December 7, 2008

Chicken stock

I pulled the leftover meat off the roast chicken from the other night, and had 3/4 pound -- exactly two cups of cubed chicken -- for the chicken-broccoli casserole. But the leftovers didn't end there. I also made chicken stock for chicken soup, although I'm not sure yet what kind. Maybe chicken-tarragon soup; it's a favorite!

The following recipe is for after you have pulled leftover chicken meat off for sandwiches or casserole -- or soup, if you want to make one that's chock full of chicken.

Chicken stock (makes 6 cups)

leftover roast chicken carcass (there should still be bits of meat that were hard to get off, but they will fall off in this process)

leftover veggies that were roasted with the chicken, if you still have them, OR 2 carrots, broken into thirds

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 bay leaves

a handful of peeled garlic cloves

3 stalks of celery, broken into thirds

enough water to almost cover the carcass -- I used 8 cups for what was a 4-1/2-pound chicken initially

salt and pepper, to taste

1.) Put the chicken carcass, skin, fat, and any leftover vegetables in a stock pot. Add water, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

2.) Using a slotted spoon, take out all the chunks and put in a large bowl. Pour the stock through a strainer into another soup pot, and cool completely.

3.) If you want, go through the chunks tablespoon by tablespoon, setting aside any bits you can use for a soup. I got about 3/4-cup chicken pieces by doing this, but it's a messy, time-consuming process. Refrigerate these until ready to use.

4.) When broth is completely cool -- I suggest putting it in the refrigerator overnight -- skim the fat off the top. You can do this skimming process more than once to get the most fat out that you can.

5.) Add back in the chicken bits, if using, and reheat.

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