Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Homemade Stock

This is a basic homemade stock recipe, I did add chicken but it's easily substituted or omitted all together to suit your tastes and dietary restrictions.  

I realize this is not the same as the pitcher above but the liquid was still pretty hot and that pitcher was plastic so just didn't want to take any chances, in case it wasn't as heat proof as it claimed.
Why would anyone go to this much trouble when you can grab a box from the store for less than about $2?  I know that's what you asking yourself, cause I thought the same thing.  And I am going to tell ya why I made my own.  First it's easier than you think.  I rough chopped the veggies, while the water was coming to a boil and before I knew it...I was throwing in veggies and making stock.  In about 20-30 mins you make your own with ingredients you probably already have on hand in your kitchen right now.  And I bet it will taste 10x better than those can/box versions.  Secondly, it's all about getting to control exactly what goes into your stock.  All the flavors you enjoy, so it's your own creation.  If you don't have carrots (like me this week) no biggie, you can just leave them out.  This also means you can control the sodium content, if you are cooking for those who limit themselves, this is a great alternative.  Lastly, this is a very versatile recipe, you can add or subtract whatever protein you want to suit your needs for that week.  Wanna make a veggie stock, great just leave out the meat.  Or you could make a lamb stock and add lamb (reserve the meat for a stew later)...I know I sound like a broken record but it's really about whatever you want.  So come up with other versions and let me know, can't wait to hear what you create.  By the way, I did not add any salt or pepper to this because it's all a matter of taste but don't forget to add them as you are cooking.

1 1/2 - 2 lbs chicken breast (3-4 breasts)
2 1/2 qt water
2 carrots, rough chop (had to omit these cause I was out)
1 onion, rough chop
2 stalks celery, rough chop
1/2 - 1 T dried thyme (I used 1 T but you could use less if you prefer)
1 lemon (cut in half and juiced) or
    1/2 tsp lemon peel powder

In a 5 1/2 qt or bigger stock pot bring water to boil, place all ingredients in pot and simmer on med high for about 20 mins or until chicken is done.  Strain out the veggies & reserve the water into a 2 qt pitcher or bowl (whatever you got).  Let cool then place in fridge til ready to use.

Makes approximately 2 quarts

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