Ahhh homemade chicken stock. There is nothing like it! Johnny Jam called homemade chicken stock “liquid gold”. And when you cook your own chicken stock, you will know why! When comparing the richness and the color of the stock to store bought stock, you instantly see the value in making your own. The beauty of chicken stock is the ability to make it YOURS! Whatever you have on hand can be used to add flavor and richness to your chicken stock. For example, if you have some colored bell peppers left over from cooking Mardi Gras Pasta, throw those in your stock! All types of onion will work as well. Below is my go-to ingredient list for homemade chicken stock. Feel free to add any lagniappe into yours that you think might add extra flavor.
If you feel the need to ask “Can’t I just buy chicken stock?”…STOP! I truly recommend trying to make your own. It is so easy! Not to mention, you will be empowered to choose what goes into your stock. For example, I like to control the amount of salt added to my food. I also like to add extra cayenne pepper. The most time consuming part of this process is deboning the rotisserie chicken, which only takes a few minutes!
I really hope you enjoy making “liquid gold”. Please let me know how it goes and if you add anything special that makes it out of this world!
Music pairing: Dr. John- Gumbo Album
Wine pairing: Ménage Trois Midnight. Any red blend is a festive choice when cooking a stock
1 rotisserie chicken
4 celery stalks
1 bell pepper
1 bay leaf
Debone rotisserie chicken.
- Reserve all chicken in a separate bowl.
- Save all parts of chicken other than meat- this is what you boil for stock
- Why do I use rotisserie chicken? I have used a raw chicken before. Throughout my journey, I have, hands down, preferred using a rotisserie chicken. I buy them fresh from my local grocery store. I use traditional as well as lemon pepper. Rotisserie chickens are cooked with the intention of browning the outside and keeping tender, juiciness on the inside. This not only creates tender, juicy meat for your gumbo, but also rich, self-basted bones and skin for a satisfying chicken stock.
Prep produce. Roughly chop produce, only to fit in pot.
- With chicken stock, you don’t have to prep produce as you do all other dishes. I simply rinse the celery, bell pepper, carrots…and cut all produce in half. It’s mainly to make them fit in the pot.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. I use an 8 ½ quart pot and fill it up with about 2/3 water. You want enough water to create a large pot of gumbo, but make sure it won’t overflow with all the contents for stock (chicken, vegetables).
Once water is boiling, add chicken remnants, produce, bay leaf, salt, black and red pepper.
Boil on high for 1 hour, uncovered.
- Stock doesn’t have a tendency to quickly boil over (on my stove) even on high heat. With that being said, keep an eye on it. However, if you have to walk to your outside fridge to grab a second bottle of wine (it happens), put a wooden spoon over your pot. That is a trick to helping your pot not to boil over.
Once your stock has boiled for 1 hour, or until your stock has a rich, golden color, lower heat to medium low and cover. Let stock cook on a low boil for about 1-2 hours, stirring frequently. I turn my fire off once vegetables have softened and stock is a rich golden brown color.
Once you turn off the fire, put a crack in the lid on the pot, and let it cool for an hour or so. Then, drain the stock into a large bowl. I use a colander over a large mixing bowl. (if anyone has a more sophisticated way to separate the stock from the carnage, please share!)
Store chicken stock in food storage containers in the fridge. Stock can also be stored in the freezer for future use!
Lagniappe: when I make stock for gumbo, I typically double this recipe in order to have extra stock on hand for next time, or to make twice the gumbo. Extra gumbo in the freezer aint’ never hurt nobody. If a few extra family members decide to show up at your door, you can feed everyone!
Lagniappe: I always have store bought chicken stock in my fridge to add to recipes on the fly. If you don’t, I recommend buying some. Sometimes, your stock may reduce more than expected and not having enough stock for your gumbo could be catastrophic. If you don’t have stock, adding more water could work, but won’t add as much flavor as the stock.
Now that you’ve made your stock and stored it away, start mentally preparing for the best part of our gumbo journey: THE ROUX!!