How I make a super easy, nutritious chicken broth with scrap materials.
I’m probably one of the biggest supporters of bouillon stock cubes. As a working adult (lazy kidult?) I want the tastiest meal in a short amount of time. However, nothing beats the wholesomeness of a homemade, brewed chicken stock. I think there’s only one way to make chicken stock: with scrap materials.
Type of Chicken Parts
Especially scrap chicken pieces! I usually purchase my chicken whole, and have the butcher chop them up. This would include those odd bits like the feet, neck, that random last piece of chicken that didn’t make it into a dish, but cannot hold on its own. These are all perfect for chicken stock!
You would notice mine is a rather oily stock – that’s because I use lots of chicken feet. I love adding chicken feet for the collagen boost.
Can you use regular chicken? Or whole chicken? Of course you can. You have two options here:
- Boil chicken in the soup for 2 hours to get super flavourful stock, but end up with cardboard, dry, flavour-less chicken.
- Boil chicken for 30 minutes to a maximum 1 hour to get a mildly flavoured stock, but have chicken that still tastes like chicken.
Every chicken stock I make will taste slightly different… because I always have a different mix of alliums, aromatics and herbs! Today I have some ginger (those nubs that make ginger a pain to peel? Just cut them off and save for this), tops of lemongrass stalks, cilantro roots and stems, and spring onion bottoms – but really, use whatever you have on hand.I change mine up each time according to what I have, and the results are always delicious.
I added a whole onion, cut in half – you don’t even have to peel the skin, just wash proper, some smashed cloves of garlic with the skin on. You can add a bit of any dry spice you have in your pantry as well, today I have dry bay leaves.
Next time you’re slicing up those base ingredients, just toss the scrap materials in a bag and store it in the freezer. I personally always have a little bowl in my fridge filled with random bits of herbs and spices that did not quite make it into a dish.
Don’t have any scrap aromatics? Then don’t add any! You can make a gorgeous chicken stock with just… chicken and water.
Step 1: Searing the Chicken
Before adding the water, I like to sear the chicken first. Simply add oil to the pot, let it heat up, before pan frying the chicken pieces.
I find that this helps to eliminate some of the raw “fishiness” that you can sometimes get with chicken. This is especially so when working chicken that has been frozen. With chicken stock, I’m almost always working with frozen chicken bits, so searing is always a good idea for me. Sear just until the surface is not pink.
Storing the Stock
Once chicken stock is done, let it cool completely. You can strain the stock, but I don’t since it’s too much extra work and materials for me. All I do is take the big pieces out with a slotted spoon. This is also why I leave the ingredients whole or don’t chop the ingredients to small pieces. There’s some small soft floating bits of onions and garlic, but I don’t mind them.
Since I used chicken feet, there’s more chicken oil in the soup, which I like. Straining would remove the oil.
If you want to strain though, simply run the stock through a mesh colander or a muslin cloth.
I personally do not season my stock, you most certainly can. If I were to immediately use the stock – or drink as soup, I give it a very simple seasoning of just salt and pepper. You can get fancy with it by adding light soy sauce or fish sauce.
Store stock in glass jars or sturdier plastic containers that are meant for storing food for long periods of time such as Tupperware. The stock can keep in the fridge for about a week. To have it last longer, keep in the freezer instead.
How to make Chicken Stock from ScrapsCourse: Uncategorized
2 tbsps Cooking Oil
1 kg of scrap chicken pieces and chicken feet
2 litres of Water (have another litre on hand to refill broth if it evaporates too much)
1 Onion, cut in half
4 cloves of Garlic, lightly smashed with skin on.
Tops of Lemongrass Stalks, bruised
A couple inches of Ginger Slices, sliced in big chunks
Spring Onion Bottoms
Cilantro Stems and Roots
- Heat oil in a pan. Pan fry the chicken pieces first. Just until the surface is not pink.
- Then add the rest of the ingredients, give it a quick stir-fry.
- Add water to the pot and let it come to a boil.
- Once it boils, turn heat down and let simmer for 1 to 2 hours to extract the best chicken flavour. Cover pot with a lid. Check intermittently and refill with water if too much has evaporated.
- Take out all of the ingredients, or strain.