Back to Basics: Homemade Chicken Stock

Hem… what’s the story this month? Travel, travel, & more travel!  Granted, it’s been mostly the good kind of travel that involves family & friends – the kind where you don’t mind cramming yourself for 3 hours in a $150 Spirit Airlines seat that doesn’t recline. I take that back, Spirit Airlines still sucks balls.  Good or bad travel aside my body just can’t take abuse like it used to (I believe the scientific term is “gettin’ old”).  Here is my current list of travel “must-do’s”:

  • Neti-pot like a mofo. Go ahead, feel like a champion cuz you’re not getting sick from the guy hacking his lungs out 2 rows behind you
  • Yoga-ing before and after a trip. Bag o’ old bones need some McLovin
  • Travel with this neck sausage. See old bones reference in point 2
  • Lemon juice + water in the morning. It lets my SOUL GLO 

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Yup, life has gotten annoyingly high maintenance and we still have to feed ourselves! While it’s true you can pretty much have any kind of meal delivered to you in NYC, the problem is that you have no idea what goes into those dishes. So I try to prepare food for freezing prior to long trips so we can enjoy a healthful meal when we get home (dumplings are always great and so are soups or stews).  But as much as I love homemade everything, I am definitely guilty of using chicken stock from a box more times than I care to admit.  On fall weekend  kitchen rampage, I finally took the dunk and made my own chicken stock for the first time.

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I’m not going to balk at making the stock again, the soup base is much richer than the store bought stuff.  When you refrigerate it, it turns into a jelly like texture and I can only presume that’s all the great collagen from the bones of the chicken. Healthy gut and no wrinkles? I’ll take that any day!  If I sound like I am hawking the stock (lol), I am.  The great thing is you can use the stock for a healing chicken noodle soup, butternut squash soup, stews etc etc.  The only regret I have is that I don’t have a large enough pot to make more of this rockin’ stock to use over time…

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Ingredients 

Yield: ~ 2 quarts / 8 cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: Quite a Long Time (4 hours)

Worth it?: Yes

1 (4 – 5 pound) Whole Chicken
1 Large Large Yellow Onions (Unpeeled and quartered)
2 Carrots; Unpeeled and halved
2 Stalks Celery; With leaves, cut into thirds
1 Parsnips; Unpeeled and cut in half
1 Small Ginger; Unpeeled, sliced
1 Head Garlic; Unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 tablespoons Dried Dill
2 tablespoons Dried Parsley
1 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons Whole black peppercorns

Directions

  • Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a large stockpot.
  • Add 4 – 5 quarts of water (enough to almost cover whole chicken) and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours.
  • Remove chicken, shred the meat and save for later use
  • Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the veggies.
  • Chill the stock overnight. The next day, remove the surface fat.
  • Use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

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Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe 

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