Making a Perfect Poultry Stock
Making homemade stock is a great way to reduce food waste and save money, and stock is also a delicious addition to a variety of paleo recipes.
Stocks can be made with numerous meats and vegetables. Poultry stock is great because buying whole birds is more economical than purchasing cuts such as breasts and rather than throwing out the scraps that remain on the carcass, you can use them to make stock. In addition to using the carcass of a whole bird, stocks can also be made using inexpensive cuts of meat from chicken and turkey, such as the neck and back. The birds can be added either raw or cooked, but if you prefer a stock that is darker and richer, it’s a good idea to roast your bird for about 40 minutes, in the oven, before putting it in the stock pot.
Homemade stock is a great addition to a paleo diet, from a nutritional standpoint, as well. Bone stocks contain nutrients that are rarely included in our diets, such as collagen, glucosamine and gelatin, which are important for the healthy functioning of our digestive systems.
You can also add vegetables to your poultry stock. When adding vegetables, you can opt for fresh vegetables, or you can use scraps left over from other meals. As with the chicken or turkey used, vegetables can be added raw, but if you desire a richer stock, roast your vegetables prior to adding them to the stock pot.
A basic poultry stock recipe would include;
- Approximately one pound of chicken or turkey (1/2 kg.)
- A large chopped onion
- Three large, chopped carrots,
- Three or four celery stalks
- Six to eight chopped garlic cloves
- One tablespoon of whole peppercorns
This is a basic guideline, and you can vary these ingredients a great deal, based on what you already have available. All of your ingredients should be combined in a large pot, and simmered for anywhere from two to four hours. The longer you cook your stock, the more flavorful and nutrient-filled it will become. You can cook the stock for longer than four hours, but you should add water throughout the cooking process, as it evaporates. Throughout the simmering process, skim the foam off the top of the stock. After cooking, strain your stock, refrigerate it for a few hours, and then remove the congealed fat that gathers at the top after refrigeration. At this point your stock will be ready for consumption, or refrigeration or freezing for later use. Stock is great for use in soups, stews, sauces and for any meat or vegetable recipe that requires the food to be cooked in a liquid.