Friday 8 December 2017

5 Steps to Making Rich Chicken Stock or Broth

Rich Chicken Broth
Any time is a good time to say be-gone to the stock cube.  Why? Because it isn’t a patch on the real thing.  A rich, healthy chicken stock or broth will take only a short time to prepare and is so much better for anything from soups to gravy.

Note with this recipe you will not end up with a chicken you can then eat – it’s all about the flavour of the stock here.

You will need
A large pan with a lid – this is best made in large quantities as you can freeze what you don’t use immediately
A large roasting tin
A large fine mesh sieve – a conical shaped sieve is best but as long as it’s fine mesh it doesn’t matter.

1 large chicken, chopped into pieces (do not try and use ready cut chicken pieces – you need the carcass to go in as well)
Some extra chicken bones if possible from the butcher

3 large carrots - peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 leeks – chopped into large pieces
2 large onions (I used red onions) - peel and quarter
2 large parsnips - peeled and chopped into large pieces
A head of celery – chopped
A bunch of parsley – chop but does not need to be chopped finely
5 large whole cloves of garlic

Because I was making quite a big batch I used two roasting tins – one for the chicken pieces and bones, and one for all the vegetables.

Preheat your oven at 200°C/400°C/gas mark 6

1.  Then prepare all the vegetables, reserving the parsley, and put into a roasting tin, sprinkle with olive oil and put near the top of the oven for 30 minutes until they are starting to turn brown.  Add a little salt if you want to.

2.  Put the chicken pieces and bones into the other roasting tin and again roast with a sprinkle of olive oil until starting to turn brown.

Basics for Rich Chicken Stock or Broth3.  After roasting, put all the ingredients into your large lidded pan including the parsley, cover with water up to 2 inches from the top of the pan and bring to the boil.  Then reduce the heat and simmer on a very low heat for about 6 hours.  Keep an eye that it is not boiling too fast and top up with a little water if needed.

4.  At the end of your simmering time allow to cool a bit then strain everything out of the liquid and discard.  It will all be totally cooked through.  Put your stock into a large jug (or two) into the fridge and leave overnight so that it can go totally cold and all the fat will solidify at the top.

5.  To get rid of any fat, pour your cold stock slowly and carefully through your fine mesh sieve into a jug.  All the solidified fat will get caught in the mesh.  There are other ways of getting the fat off but this one will work the best provided you have allowed your stock to get totally cold.

Then you will have a deep coloured, rich and aromatic stock which you can use as a broth and as a basis for soups and gravies.  Freeze anything left over.

It may sound as if this all takes a long time and a lot of effort, but if you want something special there’s nothing like stock as it used to be.  Totally healthy and absolutely home made.