If you can, try and get in the habit of buying in a whole Chicken once a week. Whether you have it for a Sunday roast or another night during the week, it is a great investment. Not only do you get a delicious meal of roast chicken, you often get leftovers plus the real gem of a roasted carcass which you can use to make stock, all in all making it a very economical purchase.
Chicken stock is such a handy ingredient to have in your fridge or freezer it is the base for so many great recipes and gives a flavour that cannot be beaten by the bought stock cubes.
It is also a true superfood, chicken stock has been used for centuries for its healing properties and most cultures use it in some shape or form for its health benefits. The cooking process breaks down the bones and connective tissue releasing the gelatin, protein, minerals and fat. It is a fantastic immune boaster, great for fending off colds, has an anti-inflammatory effect and it is also very soothing to the gut, along with other bone broths it is regularly used as part of a gut healing program. Plus there is nothing more tasty than a soup or casserole made with proper chicken stock!
I often make my husband and I a roast chicken on a Monday or Tuesday night with a selection of vegetables, it’s so easy to make and its one of those meals that puts a smile on anyone’s face especially mine, it is always a great start to the week. Plus as there are only two of us, there is lots left over for my lunches during the week or maybe another dinner, of a salad of a chunky soup or stew.
As an alternative you can always ask your butcher for lots of chicken bones and carcass’s, they will give them to you very cheaply, this way you can make a big batch of it and freeze it if you don’t think you’ll get round to doing it every week. You can make stock directly from the uncooked carcass in the same way as below but for a tastier broth, I would reccomend roasting them in a hot oven for 30mins prior to making the stock
Be flexible with your stock, use what you have in your fridge and don’t get hung up on missing ingredients or quantities, its meant to be simple and uncomplicated. It’s a great way to use up the vegetables in the bottom of your fridge that are looking a little neglected!
- Celery stick or leaves
- Bay leaf
- Black peppercorns
- Sea salt
- Put the leftover chicken bones and carcass in a large sauce pan, add a selection of the above ingredients plus any left over vegetables you might have apart from potato.
- Cover generously with water until the pan is full and bring to the boil and then allow to simmer gently on low heat uncovered for 1-4 hours, the longer you can do it for the more concentrated and flavoursome the stock plus the health benefits increase with longer cooking time.
- When the stock is nicely flavoured remove from the heat allow to cool, it will turn jellyish in texture this is a good sign and is the natural gelatine.
- Then place in the freezer or fridge depending on when you need to use it. If you are freezing it I would put it into batches so that you never have to defrost more than you need.