I use chicken stock quite often when I cook. Whether I’m making soup, flavoring rice or potatoes, or braising vegetables, I always like to have some handy. I rarely seem to need an entire can of it, though, and it only keeps a few days once it’s opened.
When I started making baby food for my daughter, I got into the habit of keeping home made chicken stock on hand. It was the only way I could be sure it didn’t contain too much sodium for her little kidneys to process. Not only do you benefit from knowing exactly what’s in it, it’s also much tastier than store-bought, and if you store it right it’s even easier to use.
I freeze my stock in ice cube trays. Each cube is about 1 ounce (I measured to be sure). This way when a recipe calls for a certain number of ounces, I know I can just take out that many cubes. Then I have exactly the amount I need with none going to waste. Zap them in the microwave for a few seconds to thaw, and you’re ready to go. See? Easy!
- 1 carcass from a whole, cooked chicken (bones, skin, and any small bits of meat remaining)
- Approximately 4 quarts of water
- Place the chicken carcass in a large stock pot. Add enough water to cover, about 4 quarts.
- Bring just to a boil. Immediately lower heat and simmer, covered, for 4 hours
- Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
- Let cool slightly, then ladle into ice cube trays. Freeze overnight.
- Transfer frozen stock to a freezer storage bag.
Whether your recipe calls for broth or stock, they’re generally interchangeable. I find stock to be more flavorful. You can add vegetables to your stock for even more flavor – celery, carrots and onions work well. Leave them in big chunks so they don’t completely fall apart during the long cooking time.
Stock can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.