*Imported from old blog. Am not currently pregnant. Baby born and amazing.
Want delicious chicken stock (mostly bones) or broth (more meat) without buying it at the store pre-made but also without using enough ingredients to make a gourmet meal to do so?
- Instead of buying fresh produce to make stock, freeze kitchen scraps from veggies (onion skins, garlic skins, extra herbs that I’ve over picked, produce that just started to go south that you don’t want to eat it fresh, chicken bones or other bones from meat like pork chops, steaks, fish).
- Throw them in a soup pot that’s actually probably intended for pasta filled with water and boil then simmer for at least an hour, but overnight or longer if the urge tickles your fancy (richer flavor the longer you go, but my mom’s choice to go 2 days seems a little excessive to me).
- Strain out all the used and abused discard for compost or yard waste. (If you use a soup pot that’s likely actually intended for pasta, you can just lift the colander out, which leads to next to no mess and less spillage).
- Freeze or refrigerate your ample delicious stock until ready to eat.
So I’m pretty pregnant. My husband and I tried for about 3 years to do baby making (a very fun process), and finally about 6 months ago I peed on a stick without wondering if it was defective despite the fact my husband wasn’t convinced a line that faint meant pregnancy until we consulted my older sister and Google on the matter.
This pregnancy has lead to a lot of changes in my own behavior. For example, everything either smells absolutely awful in incredibly amazing with very few smells being in the neutral category. My cute puppy I love and adore I want 20 yards away from me. My goats’ milk and any eggs that I adored both seem completely repulsive to me. And, most recently, as my stomach has made my lower back ache like a monster leading to lots of sitting after a little walking, and a lot of activities I used to do standing are now sitting activities, such as cooking.
Consequently, my extra sitting has lead my mom to watching some cooking shows with me, and every single time we are absolutely baffled by the amount of ingredients and cost involved when top chefs suggest buying all kinds of ingredients to go in their broth/stock pots. Here’s the problem, when you’re finished with the broth/stock, you can maaaaaybe feed the scraps to your chickens (but I personally get weirded out by anything remotely resembling chicken cannibalism, so the stock pot scraps go into compost), so it’s essentially waste. Why would you use your primo ingredients on some broth that inevitably becomes compost? Why use delicious, fresh chicken to throw it in the pot?
Far too wasteful for me! If get a nice big chicken, and I want to eat it. If I get fresh carrots, celery, onions, garlic, etc…I want to eat it.
You know what I don’t want to eat? The exterior of onions. Those dried out nasty bits are not tasty in your mouth, but are tasty when drained of all their flavor into the soup pot. I don’t want to eat the tops of celery that have gone brown, the hairy carrot skins, the shells and butts of garlic cloves, the tops of my leeks (I know, they’re supposedly tasty, but I can’t get over the texture), the lacy bits of the anise, left over chicken bones from various chicken recipes, and everything else I usually discard in my kitchen. In my house, the priority for produce scraps goes 1) soup pot, 2) goats, 3) chickens, 4) dogs (they do love those salmon skins), 5) compost. But how do I get all those scraps to be ready for an epic day of boiling? Freezer bags!
This has a number of advantages. First, no matter what, your broth will taste slightly different every time, which is tasty and magical. It’ll always be a savory and rich broth, which is the important part, but sometimes you’ll get extra garlic or onion hints, or if it’s made from your own rooster you processed because he kept hurting the hens, the richness will be so incredible you’ll want to start drinking it plain instead of using it in other meals. The unique flavors, finding what caused them, and saving a variety of different ingredients you didn’t think would be great in broth before is pretty fun. I learned I love the licorice-y flavor the anise fronds leave, so during anise season it stars in all my stocks.
Second, it’s essentially free. You don’t have to buy any additional ingredients that weren’t just waste from other meals to make broth, which is great.
Third, homemade broth is very nutrient rich and is honestly one of the best things you can eat when feeling under the weather. Or, you know, if you’re pregnant and everything makes you vomit. It’s pretty good then too.
Great times! I hope you enjoy. Let me know if you have any tips for making your own homemade stock, or if you’ve tried it!