I love chicken stock. I use it in such a variety of ways. Bases for soups, obviously. Anytime I cook rice, forget tap water, I go straight for the stock. Roasting anything? Roast it in stock. Feeling a little under the weather? Stock. Rambling on and on about stock usage too much? Well… okay, stock itself won’t help alleviate that issue but the point still stands. Stock is the Swiss army knife of our kitchen!
In my house, versatility is key. Especially now, with prices of things soaring to new highs. The more use you can get from one item, the less stuff you need. Stock is firmly in that category. And not just with usage, but with ingredients. I try to follow a recipe, but more often than not I end up throwing any and all types of veggies and herbs in. Who cares. Its mine, and I’ll make it how I want. But there are a few essentials I must have, otherwise I’m just making hot chicken flavored water. Sounds gross… because it is. Now, I understand bone broth exists. I also know that some people will by this point be saying to themselves that maybe I don’t know anything on this topic at all and these are just the mad ramblings of someone who, for some reason, loves talking about stock. Maybe, but what’s most important is I am not claiming that this is the only way to make stock. But rather just the way we do it, and maybe through this you can find something new to try. Or avoid all together. I don’t know. I encourage you to follow your heart. Anyways, onward.
My must haves add flavor while also being beneficial health and wellness-wise. Versatility ya see? Leeks are a must have. I love the flavor that leeks add to our stock. This is the part where I pretend to notice the “sweetness” in the leeks in comparison to other onion types. Not sure if it’s sweetness or what, I just know 1 or 2 thick chopped leeks are a must have!
Hey do you remember that time I talked about how I like things for their versatility? Well if not, here’s a quick recap, Versatility is key…
What if I just looped this whole thing and just started over? Would you continue and trust I would take us where we needed to go? Or would you give up?….
I appreciate your confidence, so let us continue!
(There really is no natural segue for this, I apologize.)
Fennel seed is something I also have come to realize is a stock staple for us here. Fennel has its own very, uh, particular taste. Black licorice. It tastes like black licorice.
*Now, if you’re like me and find the whole concept of black licorice abhorrent all will be okay. (and for those who like black licorice, you’re wrong. And yes, we know, “more for you!” Congrats, more of something no one else wants! You win?)
I will be the first to admit, the flavor is really mild, but what I’m really after is the digestive benefits fennel provides. When either myself, Danielle, or the boys get a little bit of the bubble guts, defrosting and sipping on some stock with the fennel seed (oh and also ginger root! Random as all get-out maybe, but again, flavor is nice and similar digestive issue relief), really settles things down nicely.
All in all, stock is easy. Ya got a big ol’ pot? Water? A whole chicken? Some veggies? Herbs? Some source in which you can heat all of this to a boil and allow to simmer for anywhere from 30 minutes to whenever you feel you’re stock is done?
If you answered yes to all these questions then you have what you need in stock. Get it… stock?
OK, well my boss, maybe you know her floral skirts and knows her way around a paint brush, has asked that I put aside the wit and charm, and get serious for this part. I hope you are taking this as serious as I am.
Stock recipe: (not to exact measurements. Add as much or as little as you want.)
- Full Chicken Carcass
- A few sprigs of fresh Rosemary and Thyme
- Leeks (1-2 chopped. Weren’t you listening?)
- Bay Leaves ( fresh or dry)
- Ginger ( you can use ground or fresh. If using fresh, chop into small pieces)
- Fennel Seed ( I just turn the bottle over and pour until I look down and say, “Yep, that’s about right” . So, whatever that point is for you.)
- Turmeric (see fennel seed)
- Red Pepper Flakes (A little spice is nice. Just a few pinches for me)
- Garlic (take a whole head, cut in half horizontally, throw it in skins and all)
- Celery and Carrots (Because you have to)
- Salt and Pepper to taste (Don’t you love how that is always the only thing ever measured by your taste buds?)
- Whatever other veggie or herb has caught your attention. On this day we had peppers that were about to go bad, just toss ’em in, the only people who don’t like peppers are black-licorice-people and they aren’t here anymore!
Bring everything to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer. I was told that after 30 minutes to an hour, all the best properties (taste and health) have been extracted from the bones, veggies and herbs, so the stock is done.
Not sure the validity, but like when I was told as a kid that it was illegal to drive with the lights on in the car, I will live with this truth until told otherwise.
But you can let it simmer for as long as you’d like! Just not too long, otherwise all the stock will evaporate and what’s left will look a lot less like food and lot more like a science experiment. No good.
These are just some of the things that I do. And look, it is entirely possible that through this entire thing, I have provided you with exactly nothing that you didn’t already know. If that’s the case, why are you still here? I mean, thanks obviously, but now I feel like I have to give you something you didn’t know just to make this read worthwhile. Let’s see…oh! Did you know that the first person to get a speeding ticket was going 8 miles an hour!
Boom, took care of you in the end! Now, quiet down so we can finish.
Basically, there is no recipe for this. Just creativity, a willingness to try new things, and freezer space,
Have fun with it.
Oh, by the way, I’m Nick, Danielle’s husband. She told me to take over this blog…
Let’s see if that was a good idea or not!
God Bless Y’all!