Happy Saturday, my friends!
Late post today, as this morning was full of errands and moving! Ty and Tye have officially moved out of their hobbit-hole, into a much more sufficiently spaced apartment. We are happy that they now have room to have us all over for dinner. No more excuses, guys. I expect an invitation pronto.
A fun recipe today. Well, I consider it fun, but I realize that boiling a carcass may not be on every one's list of “exciting things to do!” It's sure on mine though.
Every Saturday, we go to the grocery store. I always buy an uncooked, nice, free-range, all natural broiler chicken. Usually priced around $8, it's an inexpensive way for us to get some meat into our diet! We can eat on the chicken for two to three meals, plus I make chicken stock with the carcass. Not a bad way to spend $8!
Homemade Chicken Stock
You will need:
– The carcass of a roaster chicken (I include the gizzards and skin!) picked free of most all the meat
– Any vegetable “waste” (carrot peelings, potato peelings, etc.)
– An onion
– Celery (if you got it!)
– Salt and pepper
– Herbs of your choice
Step One: Combine the carcass (bones included!), the gizzards, and the hodge-podge of vegetable waste. Don't worry too much about what you use, we're just going for flavor here, nothin' pretty. A lot of times, I will keep the carcass in the fridge and just add vegetable waste as I have it. Then, on the weekend, when I am ready to make the stock, it is all there in the fridge! Nothin' goes to waste on the homestead. Yummy…
Step Two: Put all the fixins into a large stock pot. Fill the pot up with water. I usually fill mine until it is 3 inches or so from the top.
Step Three: Add half a cup of vinegar to your pot. I just use white vinegar. This helps to draw all the nutrients out of the dense, mineral rich, bones!
Step Four: Add your herbs! I use dried thyme, salt, and dried parsley from the garden. Use however much, or however little, you like.
Step Five: Bring the stock to a boil. Once it boils, cover the stock and turn down the heat so that it remains at a very slow simmer.
Step Six: Allow the stock to simmer for 12-24 hours. I usually let mine go 24 hours. After it's done, allow the stock to cool down to room temperature. Strain the stock free of all the chunky-stuff left over, so you have a nice thin broth left.
I store my stock in freezer ziplocs and then ship them off to my sisters so she can house them in her chest-freezer for me (thanks sister!)
I also keep some in a tupperware in the fridge so I have easy access to it throughout the week. It is so good for cooking grains in or for a quick soup base! I like to think of homemade chicken stock as free groceries. It just takes a few minutes and it's made from something you would normally throw away! What a great way to get the most of our goods! Homemade stock has many health benefits, which you can read about here. It is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, silicon, sulphur, trace minerals, and amino acids. Don't throw any bones away without making stock first!
Georgia keeps me company when I do projects such as this. I am trying to enjoy the time when she can still easily be contained in a swing or playpen. I know, before long, my homesteading projects will not be nearly as easy. She still requires some attention though – especially right before she eats, when she gives me this face:
Which is when I have to put down the strainer full of chicken bones and snuggle her because I can't stand it anymore.
I'm such a sucker.
Happy chicken-stock-adventures my friends! Cheers to frugal, healthy, simple homemade goods!