Chicken Stock: The Farmer's Market Edition

I'm amazed at how easy it is to make my own chicken stock. Really.Until last year I was buying it in a box or - gasp - a can. I know. Horrors. Now I use the crockpot. So easy!

The base of my stock is the carcass of our weekly rotisserie chicken from Costco. I'm pretty sure I've written about this before, but it's just one more way to be frugal and use every little bit of the bird. Especially a bird as big and convenient as the ones from Costco.

When I get around to actually making the stock I throw in whatever is in my fridge that is a 'stock like' veggie. Got some carrots that are past their prime? Throw them in. Wilted celery? Perfect.

How about seasoning? That's where I err on the light side. These rotisserie chickens already have seasonings so I throw in a bay leaf, some peppercorns, maybe some dried minced onion and call it good.

But today was a bit different. The Farmer's Market has been going on for a few weeks now so we have some great veggies in the fridge. We also have some from a few weeks ago that are definitely past their prime. And this week I was introduced to green garlic for the first time.

Making stock gave me a chance to clear out the wilted carrots - many of them - and to utilize the tops of the green garlic to add some wonderful onion-y flavor to the stock. The green tops of many veggies are often overlooked but making stock is a wonderful time to utilize them when you are able. Green garlic, scallions, and other similar stalk items would work wonderfully and impart a different flavor by using the tops rather than the bottom. It's wonderfully frugal, too, to use the entire item. And definitely a Cool Idea!


May 17, 2010 at 12:46 PM 1womanskitchen said...

Another approach is to use chicken that hasn't been cooked already. You get a little more flavor that way. The most cost effective way to do that is to buy whole chickens cut up. If you only eat the breast and/or thighs then you have wings and legs left over for making stock. I keep the leftover pieces in the freezer until I have enough pieces to make a big pot of stock.
Whole chicken cut up is a lot cheaper than the boneless breast that most folks buy and it's easy to cut the meat from the bone. Once you've cut away the meat you're going to use you can throw the leftover bone in with the stock water too.

May 18, 2010 at 4:15 PM Stephanie said...

Excellent tip!!

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