Chicken Stock

The debate about the difference between broth and stock is extensive.  I’ve read them all and considered the different arguments, but the truth is, I grew up using the terms interchangeably, and I’m not likely to change that.  If this recipe fits your definition of broth rather than stock, it won’t hurt my feelings in the least if you call it chicken broth.  I simply just don’t care that much. What I do care about is flavor and comfort, and this recipe packs both.

It was rainy all day yesterday and again today.  That’s a rare thing here in the desert and it always leaves me wanting a steaming bowl of soup and fresh baked goods.  Today, that meant making some honey French bread (this recipe for Honey Cracked Black Pepper French Bread, minus the Cracked Black Pepper) and Corn Chowder with Smoked Sausage and Butternut Squash (recipe coming).  I understand the convenience of boxed stock.  I really do.  But, I just don’t like to make that flavor compromise when the stock is such an integral flavor component – like it is in a soup.  Besides, if you save your veggie scraps and chicken bones in a bag in the freezer, you can throw this in the crock pot and have stock waiting for you when you get home.  I did this in a pan on the stove top today, so those are the directions I will share.  If you want to go the crock pot route, toss everything in at once, set it on low and walk away until you’re ready to cook dinner.

First, chop up one slice of bacon and toss it in a hot pan to start rendering.  No need to crisp it up, just get some of the fat out.  Then, toss in your onion, carrots, celery and garlic. These can be fresh and chopped specifically for this, or scraps from something else.  If you’d normally toss it, put it in a Ziploc bag in the freezer and save it for making stock.

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Stir around until they just start to soften.  Add salt, parsley, coriander and thyme.  Then add some chicken bones and skin and if you want some meat.  I had the bones and skin from a rotisserie chicken we ate this weekend, so that’s what I used.

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Add enough water to just cover the veggies and chicken and simmer for at least 2 hours (longer is better).

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When you’re ready to use or store your stock, strain it.  Toss this flavorless blob.

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Keep this golden deliciousness and use it to make the most delectable soups you have ever tasted.

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Recipe:

1 slice bacon

1/2 onion (skin and all)

3-4 carrots (unpeeled)

3-4 stalks celery (leafy parts are perfect)

2 cloves garlic, smashed (skins are fine)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley (or a handful fresh, stems and all)

1/2 teaspoon coriander seed

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme (one or two sprigs fresh)

bones and skin from one whole chicken

6 cups water

Chop bacon and put it in a hot stock pot.  As it starts to render, do a rough chop on your vegetables.  There is no need to worry about peels or skins (dirt should be washed off) since you’re going to strain all of that off anyway.  When bacon has started to render a decent amount of grease, toss in the onion, carrot, celery and garlic.  Sautee until veggies are just tender.  Stir in salt, parsley, coriander seed and thyme.  If your chicken bones are large, break them up a little and put them in the pan.  Pour in about 6 cups of water.  Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours.

When you are ready to use or store your broth, strain off and discard the vegetables and bones.  Reserved stock should be around 4 cups. Use in any recipe calling for chicken stock (or broth).

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One response

  1. […] Add stock and corn and then scrape the corn cobs to get all these delicious, flavorful bits into your soup. Good quality, well seasoned stock makes a big difference in soups.  Making your own is simple.  Get my recipe here. […]

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