My 4 year old is allergic to soy, and msg is made from soy, so our options are fairly limited when it comes to a lot of convenience foods available in your average supermarket. This homemade stock can be made anytime you have left over chicken available, frozen, put into ice cube trays to use when you need a little kick in your foods, or made into soups or stews, as I'll show you in a future post.
With this recipe, you can make several different meals.
Day 1, meal one, Roasted Chicken. Serve with some sort of starch and some kind of veggie. You could easily make a simple gravy from the drippings if you want, or keep it easy and just eat the chicken plain. Its seasoned well enough that you don't really need gravy. One way that we really like it, that's a bit different, is to make this with white rice, broccoli, and sweet chili sauce. Generally you can find it in most any grocery store in the Asian foods section. Its just spicy enough to keep me happy, but not too spicy to scare off the kids too much.
Day 2, meal two, SOUP! You can do chicken noodle soup and make the homemade noodles I posted about previously, or you can make the soup I'm going to give you the recipe for tomorrow. This makes enough for a large, large batch of soup. Definitely enough for leftovers, to freeze, or just to make for a crowd.
Here's what you need...
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 lg onion, peeled
- 1 tsp seasoning salt, Lawry's
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp sage
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- salt & pepper
Put the oil and all the the seasonings and herbs into a small bowl and mix together with your fingers. Take the chicken out of the bag, pull out all the unspeakable stuff inside the body cavity, and unless you are much braver than I, throw it in the garbage. Stuff the onion, that has been peeled, into that cavity. Gently separate the chicken skin from the breast (which should be facing up!), and pour some of the seasoned oil inside the space between the breast and the skin. Then massage the chicken with the rest of the oil.
Bird prepped and ready to go into the oven.
Place the uncovered roaster into a preheated 450 degree oven, for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes turn the oven down to 325, and let cook for approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours. It will depend of the size of your bird. Make sure if you are eating this chicken roasted for a Day 1 meal that you check the internal temperature, not touching a bone, and it is 165 degrees. Also check the temperature inside of the middle of the onion which has been stuffed into the body cavity. 165 is the 'safe' temp for cooking poultry. If you aren't eating this immediately and are JUST using it for stock, you don't need to worry about this as much because the bird will be cooked again in the stock.
At the end of the cooking time this is what you'll find...
The short time under the high heat leaves the skin this beautiful, crispy, golden brown.
You can now take a break and eat the bird as it is, OR you can go right onto the stock portion. If that's what you are doing, take a giant stock pot and fill 1/2 way with cold water. Carefully move the bird from the roaster into the water and bring to a boil. Put a cut up carrot, and a few cut up stocks of celery into the water as well. Salt to taste.
Boil this for 2-3 hours, or until the bird is falling apart. Strain the stock and let all the meat cool down before separating it from the bone.
After that, strain the stock through cheesecloth or through a fine-mesh strainer to remove little bits of nasty. I can't handle this stuff in my soup. I probably wouldn't notice it in the end product at all, but when I am making soup I can't handle skipping this step. LOOK what ends up in the fine-mesh strainer!
No thanks. I'll pass on that, pretty please.
Now take out the meat, put it back in the soup, and salt to taste! Depending on how long and how hard you boiled the stock, you will probably will need to add some water. It can take it. I ended up with about 3 quarts, so I added a couple and the chicken flavor was still strong enough. It will seem like you are adding a lot of salt. It needs it. Have you ever looked at the sodium content on the side of a can or carton of commercial stock? Don't. It will scare you.
Here is what you end up with...
Make this. You will thank me later. Tomorrow I will show you how to make my sister-in-law's ultimate creamy chicken and wild rice soup using this stock. Also on deck, my super, top-secret, best CCC (chocolate chip cookie) ever recipe. I ate about a dozen of them today. I don't regret it.