unearthing subterranean media since 2009

Homemade Chicken Stock

The smell of simmering stock wafts through one’s house like nothing else. No glade plug in, febreeze, or scented oil can make a home smell more inviting. Typically, I reserve my stock making for the winter and fall months, but after tonight’s roast chicken dinner, I couldn’t pull myself to discard the chicken carcass. What a waste!

 Having gotten my wonderful room mate to pick me up some wheatberries from Whole Foods (where he is a butcher), I let them simmer for an hour while I worked in the garden.

Nothing says “summer” like a wheatberry salad. Last Summer we grilled out almost every night, and I made this Barefoot Contessa Recipe so frequently, because it’s such a great addition to grilled goods.

It’s the easiest recipe. Simmer the berries for an hourish, then saute some onions in olive oil, add some balsamic vinegar and then mix everything up together. It also keeps in the fridge for at least a week. Love it! (and ps: it’s really good for you and a great way to get some protein while on a diet)

Roasted Chicken. The best. That’s all I have to say. There are infinite recipes out there on how to cook a chicken, but this is how I do it (every time):

  • Take out the wishbone of the carcass and any innards hanging out inside the bird. (just google a video on how to do it if you are a tad confused).
  • Soak the entire guy in warm water with a lot of salt mixed in-for like an hour.  My super science wiz sister told me once that giving the bird a salt bath takes the proteins from inside the flesh to the outside- so that when you roast it, the outside wall becomes thicker faster- thus creating a container for all the yummy chicken juices. Ever baked chicken and it comes out DRY? Well, give it a salt bath and it won’t come out dry and NASTY!)
  •  Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (hot. hotty hot hot)
  • After an hour, take out the birdy from the salt bath and PAT IT DRY. Even the inside cavity! (Seriously important. If the bird is not dry when it goes into the oven, it won’t cook evenly and it’s skin won’t crisp up, which is like the best part.)
  • From 2 feet above the bird, sprinkle Kosher Salt and Ground Pepper all over. Be generous. Very Generous. Rub it in good so that it really flavors the skin.

Occasionally I’ll stuff the cavity with some herbs if I have some fresh ones. Parsley and rosemary does the trick.

  • Is it dry? Is it seasoned? Well now it’s time to truss your bird!

Trussing just means tying the legs and wings all close to the body with butcher’s twine so that while roasting your bird doesn’t become……. DRY. I really can’t think of anything I hate more than dry chicken.

  • Pop it in the oven on the middle rack, and roast for 25 minutes, then turn the heat down to 400 degrees, baking for another 25 minutes . It make smoke. Many a time a fire alarm has gone on because of my roasted chicken. But it’s not going to start a fire. Don’t panic.

  • That’s it. So easy! Whole birds are gorgeous when roasted.

Being a baller on a budget, this is how I maximize my $4.00 bird. We eat a leg each for dinner, and then once the bird’s cooled down, I tear off the meat. Then I keep the shredded chicken in the fridge for quesadillas or chicken salad later on in the week.

Then I make chicken stock with the left over carcass. Here’s how:

  • Throw the chicken stock in a hot pot. Simmer just the bones for like 15 minutes. Throw in some carrots, celery, onions, 1 bay leaf, salt, and enough water to submerge the veggies.
  • Basically at the point you can add whatever veggies you want. Typically this is my opportunity to clean out my fridge of any sad wilted veggies that laid forgotten in the bottom. If you’ve got fresh herbs, you can wrap them up in a cheese cloth, bind it with twine, and throw the sack in the pot too.

This is how stock is made: bone marrow is released from the bones by the process of slowly heating them up (aka simmering them in water for a long period of time). Bone marrow is nature’s own gelatin- which is essentially just long strains of proteins which can be extracted from bones. Bone marrow is a great source of collagen, calcium, minerals and amino acids- which is why your mom makes you chicken noodle soup when you’re sick.

Go mom.

  •  I simmer mine on low over night. I’ll stir it every so often and skim off the fat that builds up on the top. After at least 6 hours, I take it off the heat, strain it and put it in the freezer for later use.

If you want to be real thrifty, here’s what you can do next:

  • Take the left over veggies and bone from the stock you just made, and make stock from that. It certainly won’t be as rich as the first stock, so don’t be alarmed, because the next time you make stock, you use that secondary stock instead of water, and it’s more potent!

Posted by: Diana

Category: Uncategorized

14 Apr, 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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