So, you’ve got that ugly chicken/turkey carcass leftover from dinner. You threw it in the fridge and now it’s staring you in the face. Chicken stock is an easy way to get the last bit of flavour. It’s easy and doesn’t really require a recipe. It can be frozen and used for soups, sauces, or stews. It tastes better than bouillon cubes and for those worried about their sodium (salt) intake, you can control how much you put in.
Put the carcass in the largest pot you have and cover the carcass with water. Peel and quarter the onions, roughly chop the carrots and celery and add to the pot. Add 2 bay leaves, a teaspoon of dried thyme (I say a teaspoon, but really, use your judgement), some salt and pepper. Bring the pot to the boil, then cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and simmer. The longer you simmer the richer the flavour. I let mine go for the afternoon, probably 4 hours in total. You can let it go longer if you’d like. There are no hard and fast rules (that I follow anyway). When it’s “done” (read: you’re ready to pack it up for the day) remove the stock from heat and VERY CAREFULLY drain off the liquid into another bowl or pot. I usually pour it through a colander in case any big bits come with it. Be careful. The stock is hot. Using a sieve or cheesecloth (does anyone regularly have cheese cloth on hand? I don’t but wish I did for these situations) strain the stock one more time. Allow it to cool and then set it in the fridge overnight. The next day the fat will have risen and hardened on the surface. Skim it off and discard it. Now you’re ready to store your stock! I freeze mine in 2 cup quantities in ziplock bags. It’s a bit dicey to fill the bags but is very handy for using later. Fill the bags, seal them and lay them flat in your freezer. You’re done!
At this point I needed two hands to pour the stock into ziplocks, so we’re picture free. I ended up with 12 cups of stock which are happily living in my freezer until needed. Making your own stock is really easy and it’s a great way to make the most out of every dollar spent on the chicken.