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Chicken Stock

Recipe What's in the Bowl

This is less of a recipe and more of a quick technique that is impossible to fail at. I mean... there are ways to fail. But it'd be pretty hard to. 

The only effort it takes to make any sort of stock is the forethought of holding onto those chicken bones/onion skins/carrot tops before tossing them into the trash. I always have a gallon sized bag in my freezer that I put all of those odds and ends into until it fills up. When it does, I know it's time for a #stocksaturday. I don't think that hashtag is a thing, but it is in my kitchen. #stocksaturday. Let's get it trending. Together we can. 

Here's the breakdown: 

1a. (This is an extra credit step, but sometimes overachievers will roast all freezer bag contents in the oven for 20ish minutes before starting with the next steps. They claim it develops more flavor. I claim that it's just making another dish that I have to clean up after).

1b. Throw all bones/skins/scraps/good vibes into a large pot. The largest one you've got. 

2. Fill up that pot with water until it covers the contents of the pot. Sometimes, I'll add a little salt at this point, but keep in mind that when you add salt here, you may not factor saltiness in when you actually use the stock. This may lead to potentially salty food, so I usually leave it without so I don't have any over-salted meals in my future. 

3. Crank up that heat to 10 and bring that sucker to a boil. If you're planning on a lazy Saturday at home, you can turn it down to a medium-low heat and let it go for hours and hours. If time is of the essence, keep it on a boil to speed up the process. Think of this step like any sort of soup or stew... low and slow is usually better because it will deepen the flavor, but hey - you're making homemade chicken stock. You're already ahead of the game, flavor wise. So the it'll still be delicious if time is short. 

4. Keep an eye on it as the water evaporates and the stock gets richer and richer. Sometimes I add more water about halfway through to bulk up my yield. Most times, I don't. 

5. After a few hours, you're probably done. Does it look like water anymore? Is it a rich, caramel color? Does your house smell delicious? Yeah. You're done. 

6. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a bit. You don't want to pour this hot liquid into any plastic container or potentially drop a very heavy vat of piping hot liquid onto your bare feet. Not that I know anything about that. 

7. Pull out all of the big pieces of "stuff" with some tongs and toss them into the trash. They've given all they've got. You've earned your Ethical Food Patch for today. Strain the rest of the stock with a colander over a large bowl. That will catch all the meaty pieces and garlic skins that have roamed free in the last few hours. If you're a psychopath like me, strain it a second time with a mesh sieve. 

8. Store it in the freezer for future use. I recommend putting them in smaller containers or, at the very least, a few different size containers so that you can pull a little bit out at a time for specific recipes. 2 cups here... a quart there... you're the master of your domain. 

9. Instagram the ish out of this process bc nothing says "effortlessly being Ina Garten on a Saturday" that an IG of boiling meat bones. Tag @homeecshop... cause we love those regrams, you know? 

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