Hello again, savvy savers! For this weeks Making More out of Monday Meals series post, I want to share with you one of my favorite ways to both save money as well as prepare for cold-weather soups, stews, and gravies, and that is with my Homemade Smoked Chicken Stock recipe. Also, please note that when I go about making stock it is generally an impromptu cooking session, and most always follows a generally blanching session for freezable veggies and fruit. In this case, this session followed both the 4th of July Holiday, in which my husband smoked whole free-range chickens for the family, and also coincided with a 10/$10.00 Winn-Dixie produce sale on baby carrots; keep in mind that even though the taste of the infused water will vary depending on which vegetables, or even fruit, are used, all will generally work just as well!
To begin, I retained the water from three to four batches of blanched carrots, to the side on my stovetop. I brought the water to a medium-high heat, and then added the remnants of a whole rubbed, smoked chicken. Once my carrots were prepped and put away, I then removed my pot from the burner, and let it cook; this takes about twenty minutes. Then, I added my smoked chicken to the carrot-infused water, and as the rub on the chicken contained seas salt, curry, pepper, bay leaves, and garlic, no other seasonings are needed. I turn the temperature to medium high and let the stock simmer for forty-five minutes. At forty-five minutes, I add more reserved carrot-infused blanching water to the pot and then let the stock reduce by a forth; this will take an additional forty-five minutes.
The stock at this point will be done, and you will need to turn off the burner and let the stock sit uncovered, for one hour. At this point, strain the stock in a colander or over cheesecloth. I generally freeze my stock in labeled tupperware containers, and use the stock within six months to the date of freeze. This stock is both sweet and savory, and rivals any stock commercially purchased, hands down! I strongly encourage you all to try your hand at making your own stock at home!
Here’s to saving!