I haven’t been updating my “Scrumptious Series” for a while now, not because I haven’t been eating or cooking anything scrumptious, but because blogging on weekends take it out of me. So, I’ve decided to be all flexi-bendy and reposition this as a Scrumptious Weekend instead.
To get back into the groove, I thought I’d share my weekend project from last week – homemade chicken stock. I posted a picture of this on Instagram and had some requests to share how I did it so here it is.
I have recently developed a taste for my homemade tom yam soup, and soups in general and I wanted to have ready stock on hand for when I want to add that robustness of flavour in my cooking e.g. sauces, soups, stews etc without using just plain water and seasoning. So, I set about to make my own stock. I don’t like the overly MSGed ready to buy stock we get in the supermarkets, and if I wanted something high quality, it’d cost me a lot… or I could make it myself! It’s not hard, and it’s very handy to have in the freezer for when that soupy craving kicks in
I modified mine from this recipe (2nd one) but I pretty much made it based on what I had on hand, and I cooked it longer so you can be a little more adventurous.
What you need:
- A large stock pot
- 2-3 chicken carcasses cut up or about 2kg of the bony parts of a chicken e.g. ribs, back, wings etc. These can be raw or from a roasted chicken
- 3 large yellow onions, chopped (yellow onions are sweeter than the purple bombay onions)
- Olive Oil
- 4-5 litres of water
- Salt to taste
Makes about 4 litres of stock. Adjust as you see fit, use as much or as little ingredients as you like!
1. Start out by heating up your stock pot (it usually has high sides to hold lots of water) with some olive oil. Saute the chopped onions until they are soft but not brown, then remove from your pot and place in a bowl.
2. Add in half your chicken parts and brown them all over. Remove, the repeat with the remaining balance.
3. Add the chicken parts and onions back to your pot and reduce your heat, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn. The chicken will start releasing it’s juices.
4. After about 20-30 minutes of slow cooking, you will notice that you have got quite a lot of liquid in the pot. Ensure your fire is kept low so it doesn’t boil off. You may boil the water you have prepared at this point.
5. Pour in the boiling water (or if you have a small kettle like me, I boil as much water as I can, the top up the remainder with cool but ready boiled water). Turn up the heat for your pot and bring the water to a boil. Skim off the fat or sum that rises to the surface to have clearer stock. Add some salt – about 2-3 teaspoons for this amount of liquid should be right. Then, turn the heat back down until it is barely simmering and leave to simmer for 1-2 hours on very low heat. I intentionally left it to simmer longer to extract as much flavour as I could. It also results in a stronger stock.
6. When done, use a slotted spoon to scoop up the larger bones from the soup and then strain it through a cheesecloth or muslin cloth. This removes the little bones and solids in your stock and gives you the pure liquid goodness. Discard the solids. I minimize waste by picking through the bones for any meat on it. It can be used in a stirfry or in your soup noodles etc.
7. That’s your stock right there! Let it cool a little.
8. If storing for future use, pour them into clean glass bottles, let them cool then put straight into the freezer. Remember that liquid expands when frozen, so never fill it right to the top!
I won’t deny that this is quite time consuming and the washing up will kill you thereafter, but when you make your first soup or stew or sauce using your homemade chicken stock, you will never look back. I intentionally do not flavour it so it doesn’t change the flavour of my dish.
If you like, add in some vegetables like carrots, celery, parsley, garlic or pepper corns to your stock. I chose not to but I will next time to try something a little different and perhaps add a little sweetness to the stock When using the stock, add water to it to dilute and flavour it. I made lovely tom yam soup with it and I’m going to use it as my base for kimchi jjigae next
Do you make your own chicken stock and if you do, what other things do you put in it?
This was my first time doing it, but it definitely will not be my last. It’s not expensive, it comes in very handy when cooking during the week, and because you know what goes in it, it’s healthy too!
Scrumptious Weekend: One day of the week where I indulge in my other love – Food! It will feature my cooking experiments or eating and travel adventures. Yes, I will travel for good food and I’m always experimenting in the kitchen.