I’m not a slave to homemade stock, but I make it when I have the “stuff” that goes into it. Once you do a batch, you will LOVE it. Today’s is earmarked for Vietnamese Pho Soup which requires a special (but totally worthwhile) trip to the local Asian market for “sticks and leaves,” as Larry calls all the fresh things that go into pho.
This stock is made in the Crockpot with the bits leftover from deboning chicken for something else. Or the leftover cooked turkey carcass from Thanksgiving. Tasty appetizers I made for Larry’s birthday, inspiration for the Green Salsa Chicken recipe, were this batch’s source. That day, I took the giant wad of “stuff” and froze in two baggies of Crockpot-sized portions, making sure to squeeze into a shape that would fit into the pot in its solid frozen state.
Here’s how: in 12-cup Crockpot, place bones, skin and meat bits (save up at least 4 cups of stuff). If desired, add some chopped celery, carrots and onion but I never do. Add water to an inch below the top. Add four bay leaves, fresh ground pepper and a tsp. of salt. If the meat parts are frozen, cook on HIGH for about two hours and then pull the pieces apart from each other, reduce to LOW and cook for six or so more hours. If not frozen, cook on LOW all day. Strain everything through a colander into a really large bowl (toss all solids into the trash via a plastic bag). Cover and refrigerate overnight, then skim off the solid fat (who else besides me keeps a tin can in the fridge for this stuff?). The stock will be gelatinized but will melt once you heat it for cooking. You’ll have about 8 cups of rich, flavorful stock. Use in such meals as Chicken Noodle Soup for a Neighbor’s Soul.