Saturday, April 23, 2011

Homemade poultry stock

I now make my own chicken and turkey broth. It isn't as hard as I thought it would be. All you need is a carcass, some seasonings and veggies, and a stock pot. You can find stock pots at any kitchen store - I have a 7 qt. Whenever we have roast whole chicken or turkey (like at Thanksgiving or Christmas), I clean the meat off the bones and then freeze the carcass. It can last up to about 3 months frozen. I use the extra meat and legs/wings, too. I just freeze them in ziplock freezer bags before they expire in the fridge as leftovers (a couple days tops). In the stock pot I put 4 cups water and the bones to be cooked - usually a whole carcass from a 4-5 pound chicken or a half a turkey carcass. I add a couple bay leaves, sliced onion, fresh garlic cloves, thyme, sliced carrots, and ground black pepper (many others use celery as well). I add 4 more cups of water. I bring the pot to a boil and then lower the heat to low-medium, simmering the goods (turkey carcass with remaining raisin stuffing included) for a few hours. I know it's done when the remaining meat has lost color and has fallen off the bones, and the cartilage is coming away from the bone. You can also smell and taste the broth to see if it's concentrating. If it's getting too strong, more water can be added. Once the broth is ready, I strain the broth into a metal bowl using a metal strainer that can sit in it (this was not a set, this was done by simply finding a bowl I already owned that the strainer fits into. I allow the broth to cool, and then I pour it into clean, plastic Chinese soup containers (not that we get a lot of takeout! lol) for freezing.

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