Saturday, June 29, 2013

How to use a whole chicken (and also make chicken stock)

I really wish that store bought chicken stock was healthier, and also not so expensive.  What's a Paleo girl to do?!

Make your own, that's right. And this recipe here is a two-for-one. (or a three-for-one if you ask my dog!). Not only do you get about 10 cups of awesome, delicious, chemical-free (and cheap!) chicken stock out of it, but you also get about 3 pounds of easy shredded chicken to use for whatever you want. We happened to also use ours to make chicken pot pie, but you could literally eat it straight up if you wanted (which I definitely have before), or put it on salad, etc.

I put the stock that I get left at the end into ziplock bags, and I measure out 1 cup of stock and put it into each ziplock. This way when a recipe calls for chicken stock, I can just defrost the appropriate amount of cups at a time. I sometimes double bag these because mine seem to have a tendency to leak when I defrost them. You could totally put them into tupperware containers and save the environment while you're at it.

1) 1 whole chicken (3-5 pounds---we got ours at Sam's Club. But if you can find/afford to get an organic pastured one, then do that!)
2) 1 onion, chopped into quarters
3) 1 carrot, chopped into chunks
4) 2-3 bay leaves
5) Salt and pepper
Flavoring for the stock

Ready to cook!
1) First, this will all occur in your crockpot, so get it out and hopefully it's a large sized one!
2) Cut up your onion and carrot, and toss them in the crockpot with a few bay leaves, and about a teaspoon or so of salt and pepper. You could add more spices if you'd like your stock to taste more complex.
3) Place your chicken in your crockpot, and then fill it up with water as high as it goes.
(NOTE: My chicken was only 95% covered with water, so I ended up flipping it halfway through the cooking to make sure it all got cooked).
4) Set it on low for 8-12 hours, and then let it cool completely in the crockpot.

Now you're going to disassemble this bad boy. The chicken will literally break apart now, so using your hands and three separate bowls, separate your chicken.
1) Shredded chicken in one bowl
2) Bones in one bowl
3) Skin and tendon-y bits in another bowl (this was for my dog, but if you don't have anyone to feed this to, you can put it in the garbage bowl too).

Now you have yourself a crockpot full of stock, a bowl of shredded chicken, and some leftover scraps for the dog and/or trash.

What you get at the end

Stock plus shredded chicken

Super easy shredded chicken!
Now it's time to do the stock!

First, you need to strain the juice that's left over in the crock pot.  Easiest way to do this is with a cheese cloth. You'll end up with the cloth full of some of the leftover chicken bits you didn't clean out in the last step, and then a bunch of crystal clear chicken stock.

Depending upon how you want to store it or use it, you can measure out 1-cup portions into ziplock bags like we did, or you can put it all into one big tupperware or into multiple ones. The possibilities are endless.

We put them into bags, and then put all the bags into a very large ziplock bag and put it in the freezer.

Now we have stock when we need it.

Makes: 8-10 cups of chicken stock, depending on the size of your crockpot and how much water you were able to fill it with.

Delicious, cheap, healthy chicken stock

Dogs love chicken skins and scraps :)

No comments:

Post a Comment