No Waste – Stock

Two things I focus on as a stay at home mom are saving money and not wasting.  I am always looking for new ways to stretch a buck in the kitchen.   One way I do that is by trying to get as much out of whatever I buy as possible.  I like to freeze scraps and create meals out of leftovers and make stocks out of left over bones.  I am going to start by hopefully clearing up a few questions you might have about stock and broth.  Broth is a liquid made out of simmering meat in water for a few hours.  Stock is a liquid made out of simmering bones and maybe some meat for many hours.  Then we have bone broth, which for all I can tell is just another name for stock.  As with everything in the world many people have many opinions on how to make stock and what goes into it, and I will tell you what works for me.   I feel like homemade stock might be the best way to impart great flavor into your cooking and save money at the same time.  Plus the nutrients and health benefits of homemade stock far outweigh what you will buy in a can at the market.  

The simplest way to start making stocks at home might be with a leftover turkey or chicken.  You have everything you need to make a stock with that one meal.  So let’s go over how to start there.   First you have your bird and you are prepping it for dinner and you reach your hand in to get out that gross squishy bag inside of the bird to toss that out.  STOP!  I know it is squishy and I know that you think nothing good can come from this bag, but trust me, that bag is a little packet of flavor.  Open it up and here is what we have.DSC_0080 (2)

I know, it is not appetizing to look at, but we have here the neck and the giblets (the heart, the gizzard, and the liver).  Take these parts and get them into the fridge until you are ready to make your stock.  You can leave them out, but trust me you will be missing out on some great flavor. Next we roast up our bird.  If you are looking for a method for making a chicken, here you go.  When the meal is done and you have picked your bird clean for any meat for sandwiches tomorrow, you are now ready to make your stock.  You can do this overnight or refrigerate your bones until you are ready to make your stock.  I like to add some veggies, or if you have veggie peels you could use those as well. Yes you could just use the peels and make this a totally free stock.  I don’t have any so I am using an onion a carrot and a couple celery stocks.DSC_0083

Nothing has been peeled I just washed my veggies and cut them in half.   You could use garlic cloves and herbs if you have them as well, whatever you have on hand that you feel would impart good flavor. Next I get everything into a crockpot.DSC_0084

My turkey is pretty big and barely fits into my crockpot but I kept on pushing till it was in there.  I cover this with water and set it for ten hours (my longest setting) and go to bed.  Now, here is why you might want to wait and do this during the day.  With the overnight method, you will wake up to your house smelling like chicken soup.  Some people might find this off putting and doing it during the day would work better for you. I let my stock cool down for a bit before trying to drain it.  I use tongs to pull out the bigger pieces of bone and then just pour through a strainer.   Then I pour it through a piece of cheese cloth over a strainer to get any small bits. DSC_0003.JPG

If you don’t have cheese cloth don’t worry, just put it in the fridge and after a few hours just scoop off what floats to the top.   DSC_0001

You will see that your stock is gelatinous after being in the fridge.  That is totally normal This is not fat, it is gelatin and it is good for you. and I never have to freeze mine because I use stock a lot during the week, but you can freeze it or it will last four to five days in the fridge.  You can use stock in any number of things in place of water to give flavor.  This soup is a favorite of mine.

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