Making DIY chicken stock is easy, really easy. All it takes is a little bit of passive time and it is a great way to make use of things that you might just usually throw away.Whenever I have had a roast chicken or bought a whole chicken and broken it down into the pieces I want, I keep the carcass (bones and skin) ready to make DIY chicken stock. The great thing is you can keep these in the freezer until you have enough to make a decent sized batch. I just put them in a freezer bag or tub and keep adding to it until I am ready to make some.
As well as using the chicken carcass it is a chance to use up whatever veg you have and this can be in any form. You can use washed peelings (if you bother to peel your veg), you can use offcuts or veg that is past its best but not moody. If you really want to as well you can buy veg especially for making a stock but I don’t really do this.
You also have the opportunity to flavour the DIY chicken stock to your tastes. You can add whatever you like the taste of in terms of herbs and spices. I like using this I always have in the store cupboard like bay leaves, pepper corns and whatever else takes my fancy.
I believe that doing a DIY chicken stock is so much more nutritious and delicious than using a stick cube. Yes a stock cube is super cheap and convenient but what are you actually getting. In most standard stock cubes there are around 15 different ingredients including such things as MSG, salt, dried glucose syrup, sugar and Ammonia Caramel. There are added vitamins to try and get some nutritional value but these more than likely come from processed methods. With DIY chicken stock you control what goes into it and will be all natural, based on the what you chose to put in. You also get to extract the maximum amount from the chicken carcass like the gelatin, collagen and other nutrients. You can tell that you have achieved this but the finished consistency. As you can see in the photos because of the gelatine and collagen the finished product is jelly like rather than just a standard liquid.
I find the best thing to do is make the stock in advance so I can put it in the fridge at least overnight before needing it. This gives you the chance to remove any excess fat as this will float to the surface and solidify. You can also then reduce the stock further so it take up less room if you want to freeze some. I normally freeze it in old soup pots or other plastic pots. When using in a recipe you can simply defrost it and then add more water to it if needed.
Now do I only do DIY chicken stock? Of course not, I use a stock cube every now and then because I am a busy person and also use more stock than I eat chickens so I cannot keep up with my demand. I do DIY chicken stock so that I make the most out of the chicken. I believe that if you eat meat you should treat it with respect and waste as little as possible (ideally nothing). This really gets the last bit of goodness from it even after it has been cooked.
This recipe is for chicken stock but the same basic principles apply to other meat based stocks but I will be posting specific recipes for these later. There are so many used for your stock. It can make a great soup or be using in a risotto. It can be also used to impart really great flavour into all different type of sauces.
Have you ever made DIY stock before?
What is your favourite type and what do you do with it?