Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chicken Stock for the Freezer from Rotisserie Chicken - Small Batch Canning

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It's free!

It's the stuff of legend, the stuff of fantasy... Gold spun from straw... Deep Rich Flavorful Chicken Stock made fresh from garbage.

Without exaggeration, millions of store bought, pre-cooked, pre-seasoned rotisserie Chickens are sold every day all around the world.

I would be interested to know how many of those birds are tossed in the garbage before the gold can be spun.

And yet, so easy... So cost effective and will make a huge difference in your cooking.

For many, chicken stock is something you buy every Christmas and Thanksgiving and whenever we want to make a special meal.  But those in the know, those that have a constant supply of free stock will constantly have a replenished supply (it freezes very well).

Suddenly soups are easy.  Challenging Risotto becomes a snap and rice boiled in chicken stock is a brand new dish.

And.... IT's FREE!

Take a look at the photo above... Some see garbage, I see gold...

And there really is no trick... Take a crock pot slow cooker and set it to the LOW setting.  This is the perfect temperature for a low simmer, which happens to be the perfect temperature to slow simmer out the cartilage and connective tissues that give stock it's flavors.

Be sure to use the goo in the bottom of the packaging for the chicken.  That's the drippings that could be used for gravy.  But if you do not plan a meal for gravy this week, use it in the stock.  You will be glad you did.

So, here's what I do...
  1. Bones and bottom goo are placed in a crock pot.
  2. 8-10 cups of cold water are added.  It does make a difference, as cold water will help to open the bones and promotes the extraction of collagen.
  3. I set the Crock Pot setting for just WARM for about 1 hour.  Again, raising the temperature slowly helps to release the flavor.
  4. Then I set the temp control to LOW.
  5. I add a few leftover unused vegetables, Onions, peppers, Potatoes, Carrots, Celery.  Again, i consider these free items as mostly I try to pick out the week old produce that is just about to go bad.
  6. Put the cover on and leave for anywhere from 4 to 8 hours.
  7. Strain the solids and you have stock.  Freeze some for a rainy day, or use within 4-5 days.
  8. It is optional to allow the stock to chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and then skim off the solids on the top (the fat).  Me, there is flavor in that fat and I skip this step.
  9. Put into FREEZER BAGS (tighter seals).  I like to put 2 Cups in each bag.  Squeeze all the air out, Seal carefully and freeze flat.  Then you can stack them easily.
  10. They keep for a LOOONG Time, Use throughout the year and ENJOY!

Generally, a Pint of stock (2 cups, 16 Ounces) will cost about $2.00 if you buy canned or boxed.  So you will get almost $8 worth from a single $5 rotisserie chicken.  Not many bargains in the cooking world, but this is one of them.


This simple recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Simple but Next Level Dishes"!

Kind of an odd title for these posts. But the longer sentence is... Simple recipes that are easy and inexpensive that will take your cooking to the next level... Things like easy pickled items (I always have a jar of Pickled Red Onions for sandwiches in my fridge). Or how about the easiest bread to make in the world... Beer Bread that is tasty on it's own but also makes a wonderful open face pizza style sandwich... With easy to make Tomato Sauce. Or how about Roasting Garlic for a spread on toast points for a unique appetizer. Infusing Oil with Herbs or spices or spicy peppers. Or how about making your own BBQ sauce. Nothing sets you apart as a grill master like setting out a jar of your own specialty BBQ Sauce.

You get the idea. These recipes are very simple, take very little time but will set you apart as a better cook...


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