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stock.JPGMy freezer contains a bag of green peas, a loaf of homemade bread, several 3-pound bags of tart pitted cherries, several one-cup containers of homemade tomato sauce from last summer, and — but wait, where’s the stock!? When I got there, the cupboard was bare. I had used up all my chicken stock, so I spent the last 24 hours restocking the stock supply. I sent my mate out for chicken bones and he returned with a 40-pound frozen block of backbones…a little more than I expected, but he is incapable of passing up a deal. They did not go to waste.

Surely, homemade chicken stock is the most essential kitchen ingredient – well, except for butter, that is. My freezer now contains 26 quarts of chicken stock, packaged in one-quart containers. Now, I am prepared to make any recipe!

How to Make Chicken Stock

  • bones from 1 chicken or 3 pounds of backbones, cut up
  • 1 onion, cut up
  • 1 celery rib, cut up
  • 1 carrot, cut up

Cutting the bones exposes more of the natural gelatin in the chicken and produces a more flavorful stock. Backbones make an excellent stock, but all chicken bones are good. Meat is not necessary to make stock.

Place the bones, onion, celery, and carrot in a pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface (to make a clearer stock). Reduce the heat and let simmer for 6-8 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Refrigerate. When cold, remove the fat that has risen to the top. The bones of one chicken will make 2 quarts of stock. Stock will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator. Freeze the stock in the size containers that you will use at one time; I freeze in one-quart units.

In order to speed up the process, I used a pressure cooker, which produces a beautiful, gelatinous stock in 1 1/2 hours.

4 Comments for “A Good Stock Tip: Frozen Assets”  

  1. Alanna Kellogg

    We like to put the bones into the oven to roast for awhile before putting them into the stock. But the idea of cutting the bones, that’s new — but it would release the marrow. Next batch!

    PS My VERY favorite stock is turkey.

  2. Anne

    Stock can be made from roasted bones (brown stock) or raw bones (blond stock). Both are good. My very favorite stock is duck!

  3. Lynne

    Where did your better-half find the chicken bones? I usually save leftovers from chicken meals and freeze until I have enough to make stock. (For some reason, cooking a whole chicken for hours to make stock seems like I’m wasting all that meat!) It would be nice to just go buy the bones!

  4. Anne

    He bought the frozen case at Restaurant Depot. I think other markets do sell bones (such as Soulard). Try asking your butcher if he will order you some backbones. Alternatively, use packages of chicken wings. I will make stock out of the bones from one chicken.