Homemade stocks can often make the difference between a nice meal and a delicious meal. If you’ve ever made a risotto with home made stock, you’ll certainly never make one with powdered stock cubes or even bought liquid stock ever again.
I regularly make chicken stock from the carcass of a cooked chook or with trimmings from thigh cutlets. Variations can be created through adding different flavourings to the stock as it’s simmering. The most common variation that I make is an Asian inspired chicken stock. Chicken Thigh Cutlets are often available at the supermarket at a great price compared to the more processed skinless boneless thigh meat.
I bought a 1.7kg pack recently at $5.49 per kilo, compared to $12.99 per kilo for boneless thigh meat. Total cost of It is a bit of work to skin and bone the thighs, but I make a nice stock with all the bits I cut off. When I weighed the chicken meat, I had 930g, making the cost of just the meat $10 per kg. Considering I would normally trim the boneless thighs of fat and sinew, that’s a pretty good result. Plus, I have a nice stock brewing with the trimmings.
This can be the beginning of a hearty soup or use it in casseroles as the liquid portion.
- Carcass of cooked chook, raw carcass or bones left from trimmings of thighs, legs etc
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped (don't bother peeling)
- 1 peeled onion, roughly chopped
- 2 stick celery, roughly chopped
- bunch of parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- few sprigs fresh thyme or a sprinkling of dried
- salt and pepper
- If trimmings and bones are raw, bake in a 200 degree oven for around ¾ hour. (optional)
- Drain fat away (save it and use to roast potatoes - divine!).
- Place bones, skin, fat etc in a pot with other ingredients except seasonings.
- Cover with water and place on a low flame.
- Let simmer gently for around 2 - 3 hours. Strain.
- Test for seasoning and add.
- Place in fridge to cool.
Once strained, stock can be further concentrated by reducing it. Do this prior to seasoning. Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce by half.
Freeze in ice cube trays if not using within a few days
For an Asian variation, add 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice, 2cm piece fresh ginger- grated, 2 cloves garlic – crushed, 2 spring onions – chopped, 1 red chilli, de-seeded, chopped (optional).