REAL Housewife | REAL Cooking: Homemade chicken stock

Brian Baisch
Brian Baisch

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it made me start to think about kitchen staples. The first thing that comes to mind is chicken stock. For years, I used to stock up on stock from Costco or the grocery store, and I never thought twice about it. Now that I’m cooking on a daily basis, I strive to develop the deep, rich flavors that make a meal enjoyable. I quickly realized that in order to get a fantastic end result, you need to start with quality ingredients. One of the first things I started doing was making my own chicken stock.

Today I had several hours of housework ahead of me so I decided that I should multitask. Chicken stock isn’t something that you decide to make when you have 45 minutes to spare, it’s something you decide to make when you have half a day around the house. Before you get scared, most of that time the stock is doing its own thing on the stove.

Today was the perfect day for it. Michael has been on nights for the past few weeks, so he sleeps in until around noon since he has to stay up through the night. This morning I rolled out of bed around 6:30 and preheated the oven while cracking open my energy drink. As I took my first sip I prepared for what was going to be a busy morning and looked forward to the glorious smell of simmering chicken stock wafting through the house. **This is also something I like to do when I know I have people coming over for a visit. Having a small pot of chicken stock simmering on the stove makes the house smell amazing!**

The first few times I made chicken stock, I used a recipe by Anne Burrell. But after that I realized that it is a simple endeavor and one that you can add pretty much anything to the pot; the objective is to infuse as much flavor into the stock as possible. The recipe below is my own personal recipe that I’ve thrown together. The beauty of this stock is that you can add whatever you have, and buy things that are on sale to toss in as well. It’s also something that you can prepare for weeks or even months ahead of time. If I have a whole roasted chicken, I put the bones into a ziplock bag and toss them into the freezer. I also freeze mushroom stems, asparagus ends, or any vegetable odds and ends that I know I can use. Once the stock is made, you can keep it in the freezer for up to six months. When I need stock I just pull out a container, run warm water over the outside and empty the stock cube into a pot and melt it for use! Enjoy this recipe!!

~The Recipe~

Ingredients:

– Chicken bone in, skin on – You can use legs, thighs, or a whole chicken cut up into pieces.

Now for every two pounds of chicken meat use:

– 2 carrots

– 2 stalks of celery

– 1 large onion

– 3 cloves of garlic, smashed

– 10 sprigs of fresh thyme

– 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried

The following ingredients are optional…

– ¼ lb of mushrooms

– 1 parsnip

– Asparagus ends

– Fresh parsley stems

The ingredients at the top are the basics for the stock, but as I said earlier you can add almost anything to it to add to the flavor, so experiment! The other good thing about making your own stock is that there is no salt added to this recipe, so you can control the amount of sodium when you use this.

Place all chicken pieces skin side up on a sheet tray. Drizzle them with Vegetable or Canola oil. Do not use Olive Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil...they WILL smoke up the oven and your kitchen!! I know from personal experience.
Place all chicken pieces skin side up on a sheet tray. Drizzle them with vegetable or Canola oil. Do not use olive oil or extra virgin olive oil…they WILL smoke up the oven and your kitchen!! I know from personal experience.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and roast the chicken for about 40 minutes or until they are golden. When you roast the chicken beforehand it starts to pull out the flavor from the bones, giving you a dark and rich stock.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and roast the chicken for about 40 minutes or until they are golden. When you roast the chicken beforehand it starts to pull out the flavor from the bones, giving you a dark and rich stock.
I made a triple batch so I used a little over 6 lbs. of chicken as well as carrots, onions, celery, parsnips, mushrooms, fresh parsley and fresh thyme.
I made a triple batch so I used a little over 6 lbs. of chicken as well as carrots, onions, celery, parsnips, mushrooms, fresh parsley and fresh thyme.
No need to peel the vegetables, just wash them. For the onions, leave the root end intact and cut into 8 wedges.
No need to peel the vegetables, just wash them. For the onions, leave the root end intact and cut into 8 wedges.
Cut everything roughly the same size. If the mushrooms are large, quarter them, otherwise cutting in half is fine. I put everything on a sheet tray just to keep my cutting board clear.
Cut everything roughly the same size. If the mushrooms are large, quarter them, otherwise cutting in half is fine. I put everything on a sheet tray just to keep my cutting board clear.
Coat the bottom of a large stock pot with oil and heat over medium high to high heat. Throw all the vegetables in and roast, stirring every so often, until they start to soften and become very aromatic. (For my recipe I used a 20-quart stock pot.)
Coat the bottom of a large stock pot with oil and heat over medium high to high heat. Throw all the vegetables in and roast, stirring every so often, until they start to soften and become very aromatic. (For my recipe I used a 20-quart stock pot.)
After the chicken has roasted, pull from the oven and remove the skin. Set the chicken pieces aside for use in a bit.
After the chicken has roasted, pull from the oven and remove the skin. Set the chicken pieces aside for use in a bit.
Once the vegetables have roasted, add the chicken, fresh thyme, parsley, and bay leaves into the pot.
Once the vegetables have roasted, add the chicken, fresh thyme, parsley, and bay leaves into the pot.
Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 3 hours, longer if you have the time. Check on the stock throughout the simmering and add more water to bring back up if needed.
Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 3 hours, longer if you have the time. Check on the stock throughout the simmering and add more water to bring back up if needed.
After stock has simmered for 3 hours or longer, strain out all of the solids. I use a big colander and a strainer.
After stock has simmered for 3 hours or longer, strain out all of the solids. I use a big colander and a strainer.
chickenstock_11
After I have the majority of the ingredients out, I use a smaller strainer to get more out.
You can freeze the stock in either zip lock baggies or these freezer containers. I use the quart and ½ gallon sized containers. Strain the stock into these with a fine mesh strainer, making sure not to fill above the "fill line," it needs room to expand.
You can freeze the stock in either zip lock baggies or these freezer containers. I use the quart and ½ gallon sized containers. Strain the stock into these with a fine mesh strainer, making sure not to fill above the “fill line,” it needs room to expand.
Allow to cool then skim off the fat from the top before freezing. You can store these in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Allow to cool then skim off the fat from the top before freezing. You can store these in the freezer for up to 6 months.

This is such a fantastic thing to have on hand, and you can truly taste the difference! I also like to pull out a few quarts, simmer some chicken thighs in it and then add some chopped vegetables and frozen egg noodles, and voila, you have an AMAZING chicken soup!!

Give this a try and let me know what you think! For more recipes you can check out my blog, www.rhosc.com. Until next time, Keep Cooking!

– By Brian Baisch

About me: As a gay man I’m not your typical housewife…I have a husband, two dogs and chickens. Through blogging and YouTube videos I share my love of cooking while running a household that seems more a bed & breakfast in the middle of a urban farmyard.

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