Homemade Chicken Stock

Reader Contribution by Caitlin Ethridge
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I love cooking for my family.  It’s one of my favorite ways to unwind.

I get such a feeling of accomplishment when I place a meal on the table with ingredients fresh from my garden, and meat from a bird that we raised in our backyard from the time it was a cute little nugget (sorry, couldn’t resist!).

There is something so gratifying about creating a meal completely from beginning to end, and when you put so much time and love into growing fresh ingredients, you want to be sure that every part is utilized.

Earlier in the week I shared my recipe for whole roasted chicken & vegetables with you all. This was our second year raising meat chickens, and I love to cook a whole bird, then make more meals from it. We ate on the roasted chicken for a couple of days, then I picked the rest of the meat off the bone & used it to make a delicious creamy chicken & potato soup (recipe coming soon!).

So, I was left with the carcass and the vegetable scraps which I saved from the original meal. I had onion ends, carrot peels, kale stalks, potato peels, & rosemary stems. I added salt and some dried herbs from the garden as well. You can use just about anything that will infuse the stock with flavor.

I tossed all of this in my trusty dutch oven & filled it with water until it was about 2 inches from the top. Then added about 1/2 cup of vinegar to draw out all of those wonderful, healthy minerals!

I brought this concoction to a boil, then turned it down on a low & let it simmer for 24 hours.

Once it cooled, I strained it to get all of the big chunks out & was left with beautiful, mineral rich stock. I then poured the stock into ziploc bags & stuck them in the freezer. I pull them out anytime I want to make soup or cook rice. It’s even great by itself for an extra healthy kick when I’m feeling a little under the weather.

My favorite part about making my own stock is that I am using ingredients that most people throw away!

Why not get the most out of your meal?

Do I have you convinced to save your scraps yet?

Why not start with your Thanksgiving leftovers?

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