Roast your own chickens and make your own stock and save money.
HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK
1 large roasting hen
3 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
Dried herbs of your choice
1 bunch celery, coarsely chopped, including leaves
2 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped, including peel
3-4 large carrots, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 350º
Rinse and pat dry the roasting hen and place it into a large, oven-proof Dutch oven. I use a 7 qt. Le Creuset. Drizzle olive oil over skin and rub to cover the whole bird.
Season generously with Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, granulated garlic and 1-2 tsp of the dried herb(s) of your choice. I use basil and parsley.
Add 3 cups of chicken stock to the bottom of the Dutch oven and place, uncovered, into the oven at 350º. Roast until done or until internal temperature in deepest part of the thigh reaches 160º – 170º. The juices should run clear.
Remove hen from Dutch oven and place on a platter to cool. When it is cool to the touch, remove skin and meat from the bones. Return the carcass, all the bones, scraps and skin to the Dutch oven and add the celery, onion, carrots and bay leaves to the pot. Add water to approximately 1” shy of the top of the pot. Cover and put on a low to medium low burner. Let the liquid simmer very gently for 4-6 hours.
Ladle off the stock (directions below) and refill the Dutch oven with water, repeating the simmering process above.
STORING THE STOCK:
You’ll need several quart-sized jars, a canning funnel, a medium sieve and ladle.
Place the sieve over a small to medium bowl and ladle the stock through the sieve. When the bowl is full, pour the strained stock into the quart jars using the canning funnel. Place the lids on the jars and store in the refrigerator.
I get two full Dutch ovens using one carcass and between 5-6 full quarts of very rich stock.