Friday, January 14, 2011

Foodie Friday: Stock up on Chicken Stock

When I was pregnant, a friend of mine asked me if I was planning on making my own baby food and I snorted derisively.

I pictured myself in an apron, baby on my hip, knee deep in flour and sugar, hair straggly and dirty. I imagined I would barely have time to keep the baby clothed, much less fed with the freshest or organic goodies.

She was persistent and handed me a book of baby food recipes. The girl knows me well, I love to cook!

So, because I am who I am, I researched the crap out of it. I chose to make her food for a few key reasons:

1. I’m cheap. This is in accurate order, this was, sadly, my primary concern. When I researched the cost of jar food and other premade items, I realized we would save over $100 a month. Easily.

2. I like control. In this case, I like to control what goes into Wee ‘Burb’s little tummy. When I checked out how much sodium and preservatives went into even the healthiest baby food in jars, I got a little concerned. By making her food, I can control how much, if any, salt, sugar, etc., goes into her food.

3. I love to cook. Making baby food seemed kind of fun. And the fact that I could make big batches and freeze it made a huge difference. And it did end up being fun! I even learned some recipes we use now as the family.

To that end, here’s my recipe for chicken stock. You guys this is sooo easy, and so cheap. And more importantly, there’s very little sodium and you control the salt content. The recipe below has no added salt.

The chicken wings (family size, 18 pieces) cost me $7.50. The celery, onion, parsley, and bay leaf were less than $10 (for about 10 times what you need here, I buy it all by the bagful).

I always double or triple the following recipe because the family size chicken is usually cheaper, and also we use a TON of chicken stock in this house.

Chicken Broth

1 ½ lbs chicken wings (about 6 wings)

1 onion, chopped

2 celery stalks with leaves cut into 3 inch pieces

1 bay leaf

10 sprigs fresh parsley


Bring 5 cups cold water to a boil.

Add chicken wings, onion, celery, bay leaf, and parsley.

Return to a boil and skim any foam on top.

Stir, cover, and simmer for 30-60 mins (I always go the full 60)

Remove chicken wings.

Allow broth to cool to room temperature, strain, then refrigerate until cold and remove congealed fat from the surface.

Refrigerate for 2 days, or pour into 1 TBSP portions in ice cube trays (I do this for half and divide the rest into 2-cup bags in a Ziploc).

Remove meat from chicken wings, and use in other recipes (Scott sometimes just dips them in BBQ sauce, otherwise I chop them up and try to slip them into Wee ‘Burb’s stews).

Refrigerate 2 days or freeze.


Anonymous said...

Lady, I think it's so lovely that you make Wee Burb's food. And honestly, I feel like homemade Baby Food is like the last frontier of healthy eating that hasn't been tackled.

Erica said...

I think this is a fabulous idea! Williams Sonoma actually sells a whole little kit for making and canning baby food. I've had my eye on it for a bit ;)

Thank you so much for the congrats :)

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

I would really suggest you think about just using a steamer and food processor if you have those. I've heard the William Sonoma ones are hard to clean.

I'll send you some web sites and baby food recipe books if you're interested! I'm getting really into it!

Regina @ ChalkInMyPocket said...

Do you get your stock to gel by cooking it for only 60 minutes? I know once it gels it's an indicator that all the gelatin and other mineral goodies are now in your stock. I haven't tried wings before for making stock, I usually just roast a chicken and follow the same recipe with the carcass - I'll have to give your version a try, we love wings!

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

There's a foam on top that I actually skim off. That is usually what would gel once your stock cools. And then my stock itself typically gels in the fridge, but de-clumps nicely when I pour it into my dish. The level of that depends a lot on the quality of your wings, I think.

I have a fear of carcass, so when I found this recipe, it was heaven. I'm not in love with the life-like look of wings, but it's more tolerable than a whole bird.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mika said...

Great ideas!
I'm following from the blog
hop. I'd love a follow back at

Christina @ The Tattered Tag said...

Yummy stuff, I have featured your recipe for Souper Saturday. Stop by and grab a button. Happy to be a new follower. :)