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Make your own stock. So much better than the store bought kind- what’s in those bullion cubes anyway? This particular recipe simmers for 4 hours but there is very little effort required- you don’t even have to peel and chop the vegetables. I learned a couple things while making this the second time around. First, I bought this thing called a soup sock (got it at the co-op, obvi) but it is basically just a mesh bag. It doesn’t look like it can fit very much but it stretches- I put the whole chicken, all the vegetables and peppercorns in it. Last time I made it, it was a bit of a struggle straining out the chick & veg–this way, you just lift out the whole bag. Next, I used a small saucepan lid as a weight to keep the bag submerged- so I didn’t have worry about flipping the bag over or smushing it down. Also, I decided to refrigerate this stock in the big pot which, makes skimming the fat off easier. Then, when you are dividing it into container for freezing, measure out the amount that fits in each tupperware (use a measuring cup as ladle so it is not an extra step.) That way, when a recipe calls for 4 cups of stock you know how many containers you have to defrost.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa. I halved the original recipe because her’s requires a 16-20 quart pot– and I only have an 8. She uses three chickens and takes two out after an hour and shreds breast meat for chicken noodle soup- and returns carcasses to pot. After 4 hours of simmering, just throw the chicken & veg out.
1 chicken, about 3 pounds, rinsed
1.5 onions, quartered, unpeeled
3 carrots, unpeeled and halved
2 celery stalks, cut into thirds
10 fresh parsley sprigs
7 fresh thyme sprigs
10 fresh dill sprigs
1/2 head garlic, cut crosswise
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Put everything in the pot. Fill up pot w. water. Bring to boil. Lower and simmer for 4 hours. As water cooks off, can add more water. When done, strain. Chill. Skim off fat. Divide into Tupperware and freeze. (You can see stock comes out pretty dark– but oh so delicious)