Storing Chicken Stock ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Storing Chicken Stock

Last weekend was chilly and gray. Since it felt like fall, I decided to roast a chicken (which is surprisingly easy to do) and make pumpkin pie.

One of the nicest things about roasting a whole chicken is that the bird just keeps on giving. One 4-5 pound chicken will provide dinner for 4, chicken salad for 2 for lunch the next day, and chicken stock to make a big pot of soup for dinner another night.

After dinner, I picked all the meat off the bird and put it aside to make curried chicken salad the next day. Then I threw the carcass into a big pot, added a bunch of water, some chopped carrots and onion, parsley, cilantro, a few bay leaves, and salt and pepper. I simmered it all for an hour or so on medium heat to make chicken stock. I turned it off and let it sit for a few hours.

Once it was cool enough, I removed the bones and strained the stock through a fine meshed sieve to remove all the veggies and herbs and bits of chicken. I was left with about four pints of organic chicken stock. I poured half of it into clean empty yogurt containers, labelled the tops with the date and the contents, and put them in the fridge to cool down some more.

I decided to try storing the remaining two pints of stock as ice cubes - a trick I had read about a few times. Having the stock in ice cube-form gives you much greater flexibility over how much you have to defrost at any given time. The cubes are small so they defrost quickly. You can just throw a few into a saucepan if you need to add stock but don't want to add an entire pint of liquid.

My set up for making chicken stock cubes in the kitchen sink

Making the cubes is easy - just pour the stock into ice cube trays and let them freeze solid. Then unmold the cubes and store in a sturdy freezer bag. Grab a cube or two anytime you need one.


Mae Travels said...

You didn't mention using the stuff that is left in the roasting pan after you remove the chicken. If you put some water in the pan and scrape it into the stock pot, that stuff makes the difference between pale, wimpy chicken stock (or turkey stock, fast forwarding to November) and totally flavorful stock. If (instead of stuffing) you use onions or apples or bunches of parsley inside the roasting bird to aromatize and moisten it, they can also go in the stock pot.


Eve Fox said...

Interesting. I actually had made some gravy out of the chicken drippings this last time so I was not able to use them for the stock.

Michael said...

mmmmmm. chicken stock-sicles.

dheeraj said...

How many days would the chicken stock last in the fridge when u pore it in a bottle ..??

Thank you.

Eve Fox said...

not sure how long it would keep. Not very long - maybe a couple of days safely? That's why the freezing is great! You can also freeze larger quantities in a yogurt container - I do both.