I see food as craft, so for today's post, I made chicken stock. Luckily, it was very hands off after the initial chopping of the vegetables and putting them in the crockpot, so I had time to make baklava, fix lunch, clean, and do some laundry while I was waiting for the stock to be done.
To make a stock, you need only four simple categories of ingredients: a carcass, vegetables, herbs, and water. There are some traditional ingredients (carrots, onions, celery), but I often use whatever I have on hand (in this case, fennel stalks, asparagus ends, and braising green stems). Each stock turns out tasting a bit differently this way, which I like.
After the stock was finished, I let it cool then poured it into muffin pans and popped them in the freezer for perfectly portioned (2/3 c.) chicken stock popsicles to use in future recipes.
- Carcass (piece of meat, preferably w/bone)
- 1 chicken carcass (or turkey backbone, etc.)
- 2 carrots
- 3 celery stalks or kale/braising green stems
- 1 onion
- (I also added fennel stalks and asparagus ends)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-2 tablespoons dried thyme, basil and/or sage
- 1-2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
1. Chop all veggies into large chunks- don't stress about peeling anything.
|A rough 1" chop works perfectly|
2. Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Any size works, but the one we use is huge, so more veggies fit inside. I like to layer, putting veggies first, then carcass, then more veggies over.
|Layers #1 (fennel stalks and onion) and #2 (chicken carcass) put into crock; Layer # 3 is more veggies, including asparagus|
3. Add the spices to the crock (I used ~7 green peppercorns, ~2 tbs Bouqet Garni, and 1 bay leaf.) Fill the crockpot 3/4 full with filtered water, cover, then set for a low heat for 8- 10 hrs.
|I used an entire pitcher of filtered water for this project; if your crock is smaller, you will need less water|
5. (Optional) Add salt and/or chill the stock in the fridge, then skim off the fat.
6. Put the stock in muffin tins, then freeze.
|Steps: #1 portion out stock into muffin pans, #2 freeze, #3 pop out using warm towel, #4/5 put into plastic bag and refreeze|