- Roast chicken carcass - stripped of meat and skin
- 2 onions quartered
- 2 carrots, peeled, halved down the middle and cut into chunks
- Garlic - 3-4 cloves in skins and crushed with back of knife
- 2 sticks of celery cut into chunks
- Selection of herbs - from thyme, rosemary, chives, bay leaves
I talked in our roast chicken recipe about how we always make a chicken stock whenever we cook a roast chicken. This is for a number of reasons; it’s making sure we get the most out of our chicken, the result tastes much better than stock cube and you know and control exactly what’s in it which you don’t really with stock cubes – for example lots of stock cubes or ready made stocks are very high in salt.
This is another case of using what’s in the fridge, garden and store cupboard so there is no prescribed recipe, just what you like from what’s available. There are a few staples I always make sure we have available – onions, carrots, peppercorns and bay leaves (we’ve a bay plant outside the front door) – and then add the likes of thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary, oregano and celery when we have them.
We’ve always got lots of chicken stock in the freezer and use it in lots of meals including soups, proper gravy and our butternut squash recipe.
The most important thing for us is that the kids are learning about making the most of their food and not letting things go to waste. Also how, with a little effort, you can make something much nicer and healthier than the convenience products you buy in. They love help stripping the chicken carcass (eating a lot of the meat as they go), collecting herbs from the garden and putting everything in the stock pot.
- Strip the meat off the carcass, wings and drumsticks and put aside to use in other meals. Put the carcass and all of the bones in a large stock pot.
- Add all the other ingredients to the stock pot and fill the pot with cold water, covering the contents. The less water the more concentrated the stock will be.
- Place the pot on the hob and bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and leave for at least 2 hours (the longer the better).
- We tend to take it off the heat and then leave it to cool in the pot with the ingredients.
- Sieve from the pot, removing all of the ingredients, and portion into containers for storage. It can stay in the fridge for a couple of days or can be frozen for use later.