Making Stock

Save your chicken bones to cook up some great stocks to make tasty soups and casseroles.

Before you throw away the bones from the Chicken or Turkey, consider using them to create tasty stocks which can be used in soups, casseroles and other dishes.

Using the bones in this way, ensures you get good value from your chicken or meat joint and the flavours are far superior to most stock cubes and can be tailored to your taste.

Chicken stock ingredients

Chicken bones and a few simple veg

Stocks are very economical and easy to make.  All you need are the bones, a few veg and a pan.  A few herbs which compliment the type of meat the bones have come from, will add individuality and rich flavours.  You can use your misshapen and slightly “past it” veg as these are only being added for flavour.

For soups and casseroles, where the veg can be used int he recipe, we tie our meat bones in some muslin.  This allows the flavour to come from the bones but makes them easy to remove without throwing away the veg too.

If you don’t have time to make your stock when your chicken or turkey is finished, just put the bones in a freezer bag or container and freeze until needed.

Chicken stock recipe.

You will need: A large pan with lid, Sieve or muslin to strain and another clean container to strain the stock into.  If freezing, you will need some clean containers, freezer bags or ice cube trays.

Ingredients;

Chicken bones and carcass.
2 large carrots, 1 stick celery, 1 large onion – all chopped into three or four pieces.
Water to cover.
Herbs – Couple of bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs and a good dose of freshly ground black pepper.

Place all ingredients in a pan and add water until they are just covered.  Place on the stove and bring to the boil.  Turn down to a simmer and leave for a couple of hours until the liquid has reduced by half.  Be careful not to forget about it or it will boil dry and burn onto the pan.

Once reduced, pour the contents through a sieve, cover and allow to cool or use straight away.

Stock in ice cube tray

A great way to freeze stock is to use an ice cube tray

Freezing stock

Home made stock freezes well. Simply pour into a container or freezer bag.  Choose something that will hold a quantity that you will require later.  Soups and casseroles will require about half to 1 pint.  Curries and other dishes may require less.

An alternative is to freeze stock in an ice cube tray.  Once frozen, then cubes can easily be transferred to a freezer bag.  You can then use as little or as much as you need.

Wait until the liquid cools before freezing…do not put hot liquids in the freezer.  Always label and date items placed in a freezer.

The same method can be used to make ham, lamb or beef stock, altering the herbs to suit and of course a vegetable stock is exactly the same but without the bones.

Dispose of any bones etc in your usual waste.  Do not put vegetables that have been cooked in meat juices in the compost bin, as they will attract vermin.  Avoid choking hazards by ensuring that dogs. cats and other animals cannot get to the left over bones.