This week I’m doing something a little different for the Feed 4 for 5. Normally I share with you complete meals that you can serve your family of 4 for around $5.00, but instead I decided to share with you a recipe for chicken stock.
A lot of recipes call for stock and although purchasing it already made is the easy way to go, making it yourself is the cheapest way to go, which helps to create low cost meals.
Surprisingly, chicken stock is pretty easy to make and the best part is that you can control what’s in it. Using a few tricks that I learned from my husbands grandmother, who is one of the most frugal women I know, I can make around 16 cups of stock for free. You do the math!
Most people throw away the chicken carcass after they have picked it clean, which is the same as throwing away money. It might not look very appetizing, but it can still be used.
*You can also use a turkey carcass for turkey stock or beef bones for beef stock
The same is true with onions, carrots and celery. Most people throw away the onion tops, the skins, the ends of carrots and celery leaves, but these too are still useful.
When making stock you’re using onions, carrots and celery for there flavor, you’re not actually going to eat them, so who cares what they look like. Those pieces that you normally throw away have just as much flavor in them as the parts that you actually serve. So, instead of throwing them away, use them to make stock.
My Friends are always a little freaked out when I tell them that I use the brown skins of the onion in my stock, but there is a good reason. They don’t bring a whole lot of flavor to the stock, but they do add some color to it. The more skins that you use the richer the color of the stock becomes.
Now, using all of the things that you normally would have thrown away, you can throw them into a pot instead, with a gallon of water, a little salt and pepper and create some free chicken stock.
Gotta’ love free!
Do you see that beautiful color? That’s from the onion skins. I added several to get that deep, rich, gorgeous color.
Once the stock has cooled and the solidified fat has been removed, pour it into freezer bags.
Most of my recipes call for 2 cups of stock so I usually freeze 2 cups per bag. Remove the air from the bag and lay it flat it the freezer (this helps to save freezer space). The stock will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Make Don’t Buy
1 chicken carcass (including neck and gizzards)
2 cups onion (w/skins)
4 ribs of celery
1 gallon cold water
Salt and pepper (optional)
Place the parts of the vegetables that you would normally throw
out, like the ends of the onions and carrots and the celery leaves in a large
stock pot. *The onion skins will help to give
the stock a deep rich color.
Add the chicken and pour in the water.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches the boiling
point turn down to medium low and simmer, uncovered for 3-4 hours.
Skim the scum a couple of times an hour while it’s simmering.
Add hot water as needed.
Strain stock and discard the chicken and vegetables.
Let the stock cool and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove solidified fat from the top of the liquid and place 2
cups of the liquid into freezer bags.
Remove air from the bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Most of the time making things from scratch is the cheapest way to go, but not always the quickest. So the next time that you plan on making something from scratch, double it, heck, triple it and then freeze it. This will help you save time in the future, if that’s your concern. And if you are looking to save money, purchasing the items that you need, in bulk, will save you even more.
Use the carcass’ from one of these Feed 4 for 5 meals: