Whenever I roast a chicken, about once every couple months, I like to toss the carcass into a pot with onions, garlic, celery, carrots, bay leaves and thyme. In other words, homemade chicken stock is my jam. It’s my comfort food, and frankly if I’m going to eat an animal I feel like I should at least use every part of it that I have if possible.
My recipe is always changing, but if you want a solid go to I’d guess this one from Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) is pretty awesome. She has some killer recipes and I have yet to make a bad one. My only tip is that I always use roasted chicken bones. I roast the chicken, let it cool and pick it, and then put the bones into the stock instead of the whole chicken. I have tried both ways and I not only prefer the flavor of the roasted bones, but I do not like boiling a chicken. Roasted chicken is just too delicious. That’s just my preference though, do what you love most.
In order to freeze the stock in larger quantities, here’s my go to method:
- Let your stock cool to room temp and then put it in the fridge for a few hours. This coagulates the fat on the top.
- Once the fat coagulates, skim it off the top.
- Now that you have cooled stock fill your zip-lock bags (I use the ones that are thicker and a bit bigger than the sandwich bags) about 3/4 full. This is really important as liquids expand when they freeze. Once you have them each filled 3/4 full triple check that the bags are 100% sealed (no leaks wanted)! Next, lay them flat in the freezer and shut the door.
That’s it. If you’re really concerned about the stock potentially leaking, place the bags in a large deep cake pan before you put them in the freezer. If a bag is overfilled and bursts, or the bag wasn’t sealed properly to begin with, it will at least leak into the pan. In this case you can simply thaw the pan out and re-liquify the chicken stock and use it up. I don’t recommend thawing and re-freezing chicken stock (or meat in general).
Here is a photo of the stock as it first went into the freezer:
All in all I really like this method of freezing stock, and once it’s frozen you can stand it up to save room, etc. It’s so easy to grab one of these out, throw it in a pan in the fridge to thaw for use at night, or just to take it out of the back totally frozen and simply throw it in a pot with about a cup or two of water to melt. I tend to make my chicken stock a bit concentrated so I often thin it with water regardless.
So there you have it, a simple way to store larger quantities of chicken stock.