Roasted Chicken Stock

Each week when all the kids leave, I always feel guilty about the random leftovers veggies in the fridge. I’ve been making stock for years (only every so often when the mood strikes and I have been organized enough to save the chicken carcass), but I usually just buy low-sodium stock at the grocery store and get on with it. The other Sunday evening, I was once again staring at my fridge when I had one of those inspiration moments, I WILL MAKE STOCK. And…I decided to up my game by roasting the carcasses and vegetables first.

Just a tray of some chicken bones and random vegetables - roast them and you are on your way to delicious and flavorful stock.
Just a tray of some chicken bones and random vegetables – roast them and you are on your way to delicious and flavorful stock.

Roasted Chicken Stock
Author: 
Serves: 12 cups
 
I use chicken stock for much more than just soups. I sub in chicken stock in all types of recipes: I make rice with half chicken stock half water (tastes so much better), sub in a small amount of chicken stock in Asian recipes to reduce the sodium, use it to create quick sauces for pasta and finally nothing is more helpful when deglazing a pan than a bit of chicken stock. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • Chicken carcass, make sure all skin is removed, but it’s okay if there are bits of chicken
  • 1 onion sliced in quarters with skin left on
  • Handful of carrots
  • Handful of celery
  • A few springs of fresh herbs
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Arrange chicken carcass and all of the vegetables on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Toss with olive oil and Kosher salt.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and with tongs carefully place the chicken carcass and vegetables in a stockpot or crockpot.
  6. Add as much water as you can to your stockpot or crockpot (in my big crockpot I manage to add 12 cups of water.
  7. Simmer for a minimum of 2 hours and up to overnight. For me this is an after a chicken dinner activity. So I roast while cleaning up the kitchen, set my crockpot before bed and in the morning - my house smells amazing AND I have a ton of delicious stock!

 

 

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First, you need to add a little oil. I always start with adding a tablespoon or two of olive or canola oil to my pan. I let the oil heat up and then I add my ground protein. I also don’t use a spatula – I think it’s much easier to brown with a spoon and you can be so much more precise – no more of everything flipping over the side of the pan. Second – whatever the flavor of your dish – add those seasonings while you are browning the ground turkey or chicken – don’t wait until afterwards.

Why you ask? Because lean proteins don’t have that much flavor naturally. So, by adding the seasonings in at the beginning you create layers of flavor that really make a difference in your dish.

For example, if I am browning turkey for spaghetti, I will start with olive oil, add the protein, and then add some Kosher salt, minced garlic and oregano. It completely changes how you meal tastes! After browning, I drain the water/fat off and continue with the recipe.

Today when making my Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, I browned the ground chicken along with minced onion, garlic and ginger. I then drained the fat and continued with the recipe. The flavor was fantastic.

So – next time you are browning lean protein try this trick. You will never go back!

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How do you store it? Gently wash, blot or air dry, then wrap loosely in a few paper towels, place in a ziploc bag and put it in the fridge. If you change the damp paper towels every 2 days your cilantro will remain fresh for 5-7 days.

How do you use it? Cilantro is great sprinkled on salads, lots of main dishes (Mexican, Asian and Indian meals are great places to start) and is terrific in dressings and marinades.

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Instead buy a simple and inexpensive (I am talking $8 max) wine. For white you want a dry, crisp white wine (pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc) . Avoid “oakey” chardonnays! For red wine you have more choices. Any grape works fine as long as it is a dry red wine.

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