Monday, August 1, 2011

Making Your Own Stock or Broth

Making one's own broth or stock seems like a lost art because you can usually get canned broths and bouillon cubes easily and not-too-expensively!  But here's a case for making your own! 
    First of all, you can control what goes into the broth.  Oftentimes, monosodium glutamate (MSG) can be found, or even excess sodium or wheat gluten in the store bought offerings.  Secondly, if it is done well, it can taste so much better!  Thirdly, it can add a wonderful smell and a warmth to your home, especially in the cooler months!  And last, it makes you feel really great when you can use up everything in a chicken dinner, including the carcass! Two things can make the project very easy and rewarding.  Those two things are a slow cooker and a rotisserie chicken!  
    On an evening where you bring home a roasted chicken from the grocery store for a quick dinner, don't toss the carcass.  Instead put the carcass in the slow cooker and cover it with cold water.  Add any skin as well (it adds flavor and can be skimmed off at the end of the cooking process!)
    Clean out your vegetable drawer and put in celery (include the leaves),  onion, carrots and garlic along with the chicken. Don't forget salt and pepper as well!
    Turn the slow cooker on low and leave it for at least 4 hours!
    Take off the lid after that and continue the condensing process by turning the cooker to high and leaving it for 6-8 more hours.  This makes it more flavorful and when it is done, will be delicious to add to your homemade soups and stews.
    Pour the remaining liquid through a strainer, leave out for another hour and remove the remaining fat and store in airtight containers in the freezer!  I guarantee you'll feel like such a diva chef! 
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