Friday, September 20, 2013

Home-made Chicken Stock

I've been cooking porridge at home, and to flavour it I've been using Maggi's concentrated chicken stock with no MSG. The problem here is, sometimes the supermarkets don't carry that particular variant often enough, and I end up hunting for it high and low. Some friends suggested why not make my own chicken stock at home, and at first I thought it would involve a lot of work (the lazy bone in me), but then I figured with the long weekend, maybe I'll give it a shot.

Googled some recipes and decided to go with Jamie Oliver's recipe for chicken stock.  What I did not anticipate was... my biggest pot, wasn't big enough :P We ended up splitting the recipe to two pots.

2 kg raw chicken carcasses, legs or wings chopped (I don't know what Jamie meant by "higher-welfare chicken", we bought 5 kampung chicken and 3 normal farm chicken, cos the stall ran out of kampung chicken)
½ head garlic, unpeeled and bashed
5 sticks celery, roughly chopped
2 medium leeks, roughly chopped
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
5 sprigs of fresh parsley
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
5 whole black peppercorns (actually I used a handful)
6 litres cold water
Salt to taste

Clean the carcass and remove all that grim,blood, skin and veins. If you're squirmish, this recipe ain't for you, cos you really gotta get your hands dirty. Place the chicken carcasses, garlic, vegetables, herbs and peppercorns in a large, deep-bottomed pan. Add the cold water and bring to the boil, skim from time to time (cos all that blood and goo will float to the surface), then turn the heat down to a simmer. Continue to simmer gently for 3-4 hours, skimming as necessary, then pass the stock through a fine sieve. I would salt it a little to bring the flavour out, so it's really up to you.

Allow the stock to cool, then refrigerate. then divide it into small plastic containers (I used jars) at this point and freeze it. It will keep in the fridge for about 4 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months. The colour of the stock should be about amber in colour, like the sample below. Ours came up to something similar, a little lighter actually, but maybe it's because of the type of chicken as well. Never the less, it still taste pretty awesome.

Image from Reluctant Gourmet 

I had refrigerated one jar as I wanted to use it the next day to make porridge. When I took the refrigerated one out to cool to room temperature, there was a thin layer of oil on the surface, so simply take a spoon and gently skin the oil before using the stock.