One of the best things you can do for your freezer/pantry is to make homemade chicken stock. I find it totally therapeutic (not really sure why). Your house smells glorious for a couple days. And the best part is that any dish you make tastes THAT much better with homemade chicken stock. A few years back, Jared started off using Rick Tramonto's recipe from his Tru cookbook. Here is his latest recipe for chicken stock.
Recipe (written by Jared):
2 medium onions
4 stalks of celery
3 medium carrots
6 chicken thigh or whatever chicken bones you have in your freezer
1 bottle of white wine (this is where you break out the $4 bottle - no use in using nice wine!)
2 bay leaves
I didn't follow the traditional mirepoix rule of 2:1:1 onions/celery/carrots. I just wanted to use up what was in the fridge
- Take a heavy cleaver to the chicken thigh to break the bones open. This will allow the flavor to seep out during cooking
- Rough chop all the vegetable, no need to make perfect brunoise since it is going to turn to mush
- In a large stock pot, saute the vegetable until it is soften on medium high heat
- Deglaze the pot with the white wine
- Add the chicken to the pot
- Add enough cold water to cover the chicken then add another quart of water
- Add 2 bay leaves
- Turn the heat to low and slowly bring the stock to a low boil. This will keep the stock clear
- Remove oil and scum on the surface frequently
- You can remove the chicken meat about 1 hour into cooking and save the chicken for soup later. Put the bones back into the stock.
- Low boil for 6 hours or reduce until the desire flavor
- Strain the stock through a fine mesh or cheese cloth into individual portions
I followed Thomas Keller's belief of not adding salt to the stock. Since the stock will be used for cooking later, all the seasoning should be done while cooking the dish. Stock will store well in the freezer for many months.