Homemade Chicken Stock
I used to be a little intimidated by the thought of making my own stock. I had visions of a messy counter of chopped veggies, chicken bones, sieves, etc, etc.
Then one day, as I was stewing a chicken, I realized I don't need to do anything special or fancy to have great broth. The cans in the store sure don't do anything special. If they add veggies and other things to the broth, I sure can't taste it. To me, especially after making my own, it tastes like greasy, yellow, bland liquid.  I thought it was supposed to add flavor to rices and other dishes. How, when it tastes so blah? And who wants to sip that flavorless stuff when sick? blech.  And let's not even go into the cost.

As for storage, you can pour the stock, by the cup, into a freezer baggy and store flat until frozen. You'll end up with a very thin frozen product that can slip almost anywhere in your freezer and you can just break off little pieces of broth as you need it for adding to sauces, etc.  
I'm going to store mine as ice cubes, and when frozen, put them all in one big freezer bag. And it may seem tedious, but I also took note as to how much stock it took to fill up an ice tray so I have some idea how much I have should I need an exact amount. It's a close estimate, as I try not to get too technical and not have to do too much math. haha!
So as I was sitting there watching my chicken stew, I had a light bulb moment, and after some experimentation, here is how I go about making my own stock.

You'll need (roughly):

  • about 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • small (4-5 lb or so) whole, young chicken
  • about 2 1/2 quarts of water
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
I try to keep the seasoning simple so I can use the frozen broth for anything.

Heat up a large pot, preferably one with a lid, with the oil.  Rinse, and pat dry the chicken. Don't forget to remove the bag of gizzards! Wrap them up, toss them in the freezer, and use them to make some Dirty Black Bean Acini.

Be sure to sprinkle some salt, pepper and garlic in the open cavity, and the outside. I'm very liberal with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder!
When the oil is hot, give your bird a nice golden tan on both sides, if it sticks a little, that's okay, we're tearing it apart later anyway, so it doesn't have to be pretty.

Add about an inch of water, and take a wooden spoon, and get up under the bird to deglaze the pan best you can. Rub the spoon around the bottom of the pan, doing your best to get up any stuck on skin, etc. Then add more water to almost cover the bird, it took me about 2 1/2 quarts of water.

Here I add more salt.  If you're watching sodium, skip this.
Bring it to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover with lid, leaving a little space for steam to escape.

When the meat starts to fall off the bone, about an hour or so for me, turn off and let cool just a bit, then sticking a wooden spoon in the cavity, and a spatula on the bottom, very carefully and quickly transfer the chicken into a colander set over a bowl so the bird can drain off into the bowl below.

I propped a wooden spoon between the colander and the bowl so the colander would sit at an angle.
Look at all that lovely, rich stock in the pan! I give it a couple more stirs to loosen up anything on the bottom that may still be stuck. Remove from heat and cool a bit. You don't have to cool, but I do.
I strain it into a bowl with a pour spout.

Call the cats & dogs for scraps, if they aren't already milling about the kitchen! lol
But before I pour it into the ice trays, I strain it one more time as I pour it into a large measuring cup.

If you like, you can stick it in the fridge to cool quicker; and then you can spoon off the fat that floats to the top for a lower fat chicken stock.

I don't do that, so I give the stock a little stir with a spoon just before pouring into the ice trays so the cubes are as equal in fat and flavor as possible.
oh, a little tip; pour stock into trays over an old kitchen towel. That way, if there are any spills, you can just toss the towel right into the wash and not have a big mess to clean up. :)

And when frozen, toss into a freezer baggy and whenever you need to add extra flavor to a dish or make a soup or stew, or if someone is sick, just grab the cubes! Easy and best of all: FREE!