Homemaking stock is a simple and great way to make your leftover chicken carcass useful (and I love to find a purpose for seemingly useless items). Homemade chicken stock takes hours to make (a great weekend project idea) but the result is well worth the effort. Homemade vegetable stock takes much less time and is an important ingredient for vegetarians; it's so rewarding to make yourself. Stock freezes well and is easy to defrost making it easy to store and use.
A few basic stock-making tips include cooking the ingredients with cold water (to extract the collagen) and skimming off any scum in meat stocks. If you want to remove fat from your stock, cool it and spoon of the solidified fat that collects on top.
Do you have any stock tips that you swear by?
Source: Flickr User FotoosVanRobin
Store-bought chicken broth is a staple ingredient in my kitchen, but the other day when I went to make soup, I did a double take. I couldn't remember the last time I used chicken broth and the container was open. Although the expiration date said November 2009, I wasn't sure if the stock was still good. After doing some research, I learned that once a box of chicken broth is open, it should be kept in the refrigerator for no longer than a week. The date on the outside is for an unopened box. Homemade stock will last in the fridge for four days.
Freezing both homemade and store-bought chicken stock will extend its life for about 60 days.
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After making a scrumptious roast chicken, I decided to make my own chicken stock to not waste the carcass. I've purchased plenty of store-bought chicken broth and in a pinch it works perfectly. However, it doesn't compare to the homemade variation, which has a rich, strong chicken flavor and insanely delicious smell.
While the entire process is long, it requires little attention — only a quick skim and water check, periodically. This recipe makes about 16 cups of chicken stock. Since I can't imagine using it all at once, and want to have it on hand when I need it, I cooled the liquid and froze it in individual bags. To get started on your own homemade chicken stock, read more
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