Winter is right around the corner. Brace yourself with the warmth of an aromatic and delicious home-cooked chicken stock.
There’s nothing quite like homemade soup, and chicken stock is a must-have in your kitchen this winter. This yummy and versatile kitchen staple can be used for soup recipes or added to some of your favourite stews, casseroles or rice dishes for extra flavour. Best of all, it’s easy to make!
Why you should make your own chicken stock and what you’ll need
There are a lot of reasons to make your own chicken stock. It tastes better than store bought stock, it cuts down on waste (you can use your own chicken bones and vegetable scraps), and it lasts longer than fresh stocks you can buy from the store. Making your own stocks is also helpful if you’re trying to cut down on processed foods and added salts, allowing you to completely control the flavour profile you’ll be using as a base.
When you’re making basic chicken stock, there are only a handful of things you’ll need, including:
- Chicken bones (which you can save and freeze over a period of time before using or buy specifically in order to make stock)
- Vegetables suitable for making stock (you can freeze and save vegetable scraps like carrot, celery, and onion until you’re ready to use them)
- Aromatic herbs
If you’re looking to make Asian-inspired broth, you can try adding cilantro, lemongrass, garlic, and ginger. And if you’re in the mood for a seafood-inspired soup, you can make your own fish stock at home.
Turning your ingredients into something delicious
Although making chicken stock takes a bit of time, it’s a fairly simple process. There are three main steps involved.
After you’ve covered your chicken bones, vegetables, aromatics, and spices in water, it’s time to let them boil. With a NEFF induction cooktop you can use the pot boost feature to ensure your stock quickly comes to boil. Pot boost heats the pot by applying up to 50% higher heat for 10 minutes and then automatically resets the cooking zone to Level 9. Once you’ve brought your stock to a boil, immediately set it to simmer.
You should let your stock simmer for 4 to 8 hours and periodically skim off any foam that comes to the surface. Usually, you’ll need to skim the surface every 15 minutes to half hour. You may need to top off the water to ensure the bones, vegetables, and herbs remain submerged.
Remove the bones, vegetables, and herbs
When you think your stock is ready, you can use a slotted spoon to remove the bones, vegetables, and herbs. Afterwards, pour it through a fine mesh sieve to get a smooth and silky liquid. If you’ve completed these steps, you can simmer your stock a bit longer if you want to create a thicker soup base. Once you’re satisfied with your stock, let it cool.
Store your stock
Once your stock has cooled down, it’s time to store it. You can either refrigerate it if you plan to use it in the next four days or freeze it if you’re not quite ready to use it yet.
How to store your chicken stock
If you’re planning on using your chicken stock in the next few days, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will keep fresh for 4 days. If you’re not planning on using your chicken stock immediately, you can store it in your freezer for about 6 months.
Some great ways to freeze chicken stock include using ice cube trays (they’re perfect if you only need to dish out a few tablespoons at a time) or storage containers in a variety of sizes to suit different recipes (e.g. a small one cup container).
Just remember freezer bags can leak, so it’s best to choose a sturdy container to store your delicious stock.