How to make chicken stock
If you only do one thing this weekend, you’d better be making chicken stock. It’s so simple, so fresh, so tasty, and takes the pressure off meal planning and prepping during the week.
Making chicken stock from scratch really is easy and convenient. It’s simply a matter of throwing all your ingredients in a pot, covering them with water and leaving them to simmer for a few hours. At the end of the cooking time you’ve got perfectly cooked boiled chicken, soft veggies that the pets will love (or that you can use to make baby food puree, bubble and squeak, etc), and enough stock to make at least another two meals (like bacon, leek and sweet potato soup or risotto). For a few minutes’ prep time, that’s an efficient use of time!
1 whole chicken
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 whole celery sticks (leaves and all), cut into 2-inch pieces
1teaspoon whole peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves
1sprig lemon thyme
Splash of apple cider vinegar (this helps release the nutrients from the veggies and herbs as well as the chicken flavour)
4.5 litres of water (or enough to fill your pot)
Place onion, carrot and celery in a heavy pot (I use a 6-litre cast iron pot).
Place chicken on top and add herbs, peppercorns and vinegar.
Add water and bring to the boil on the stovetop.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for four hours.
Turn off heat.
Remove chicken. Careful – it will be VERY tender! Have the chicken for dinner with salad or vegetables, or keep in the fridge for lunch meat.
Strain stock, keeping the vegetables to feed to your pets or to puree for baby food.
Allow stock to cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
Makes about 2.5 litres
Handy hint: pour stock into ice cube trays and freeze for quick, convenient use in sauces, soups, or just about anything!