Waste Not Want Not Chicken Stock

When we started buying organic protein, I was overwhelmed at the price. $17 for a whole chicken? Really? After I got over the sticker shock, I realized that if I utilized the entire bird, $17 wasn't too bad after all. For that $17, I get one dinner (for 4), two lunches and 6-8 cups of chicken stock (which will turn into 2 family dinners worth of soup later). When I start to do the math on a per serving basis (in this example, $1.22 per serving) the price becomes a lot more palatable.

As I make a lot of soup during the fall and winter (I love making soup: dump in ingredients, stir, walk away), chicken stock made from the carcass was the logical thing to do. I used to purchase Trader Joe's Chicken Broth, which contains 600 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving. That is 25% of your daily sodium intake in one cup of soup! My stock has no added sodium, although I suspect there will be some small amount of sodium present due to residual seasoning. The broth is flavorful and colorful, the later from the addition of onion peel (yes, the peel). You can either strain off and use just the stock or you can pick the carcass and use the meat (I only do this when I am making chicken noodle soup but I leave the decision up to you).

Waste Not Want Not Chicken Stock (makes approximately 8 cups)

1 chicken carcass (from a roasted chicken)
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 onion, unpeeled, roughly chopped
8 cups water

Add chicken carcass to large stock pot. You want to totally submerge the bird in water, so if you may need to break the carcass in pieces depending on the size of your pot. Add the carrots, onions and water. Set over high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook at a low boil for 1 hour. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled, strain the liquid from the pot into a large zip top bag. Label and freeze for later use.


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