Chicken stock is the secret ubiquitous ingredient that enhances our cooking. It’s the essential base for soups, sauces, stews, stir-fry etc. Homemade chicken stock is far more superior than what you can buy at the store. It is guaranteed to be 100% natural, free of preservative and is nourishing. I use chicken stock in most of my cooking and have started to make my own chicken stock after I realised how easy it was. I find that it is quite similar to boiling my usual Chinese soups, only with different ingredients and steps.
There are various ways in making chicken stock. However, there is no right or wrong way if you were to ask me. Different methods and composition of ingredients will yield different depth of flavour, clarity and body for a stock. Irrespectively, the basic components for chicken stock must comprise of chicken carcass, mirepoix (a mixture of chopped celery, carrot and onion) and bouquet garni (bundle of herbs).
Here, I will share a simple and versatile chicken stock recipe that I have been making frequently at home. This recipe is adapted and modified from my fish stock recipe. It is extremely easy to prepare and does not require any special ingredients. I choose coriander leaves and bay leaves for this recipe as they are easily available and infuse a subtle aroma to the stock. Vegetables and herbs play a supporting role. You can vary their combination but keep the amount to not more than half the amount of the chicken carcass. I prefer to sauté the chopped vegetables before adding the chicken carcass to cook together as I like to add the aromatic taste of sautéed vegetables to my stock. But it’s optional.
You can freeze any leftover stock for future use. Just separate them into smaller portion and store them in convenient-sized container or ice cube trays before freezing. In this way, you can thaw whatever amount you need it later. You can keep the stock refrigerated for 2 to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
If you have never made your own stock at home, consider doing it at least once. It is definitely worth the time and effort (just 2 hours of cooking) to make something healthy for your family to enjoy.
Here are some recipes you can try cooking using your own homemade chicken stock:
a) Cream of mushroom soup
b) Corn chicken soup
c) Quick congee
d) Superfast congee
e) Steamed silky eggs
f) Chicken and potato stew
g) Braised chestnut with chicken
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