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Who uses homemade chicken stock in recipes?

When a recipe calls for chicken stock, do you use actual home made stock? Does anyone make stock and have stock on hand? Or do you buy it? I'm curious to see what everyone does, homemade stock, purchased stock, canned broth? Just wondering

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  1. Every once in a while, I'll make a big pot of chicken broth, using backs, bones, etc. that I've been saving in the freezer. I freeze it and use either in a soup or to make something where the flavour of the broth is important - like risotto. To make a braised dish, for example, the delicacy of a home made broth gets lost. In that case I'll use the tetra-pack low sodium Campbell's.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Nyleve

      I do exactly the same thing, make my own stock but save it for when it will really shine. And I practically never buy chicken parts. That way I can ensure a supply of backs, wings, and bones in the freezer when I'm ready to make the next batch of stock.

      1. re: Nyleve

        Yup! I do the same. I find that putting it all in slow cooker works great because it won't boil the stock and can safely go all night long. If the flavor isn't want I want, I boil the stock down after I've strained and de-fatted it.

        Then I vacuum seal it in 8, 16 & 32 oz. packets. If find if I freeze the stock I can easily vacuum seal it. Then if I let them thaw and lay them out flat, I can refreeze highly stackable and storable portions until I need them.

        Between accumulations/stockifications, I use the TJs quarts of broth in boxes. They're very nice too.

        1. re: Nyleve

          same here. I use tetra pacific foods brand low sodium stock when in need.

        2. Boxes of low sodium chicken broth or those concentrated cubes just in case I run out.

          My god, make my own chicken broth? Maybe when I retire 50 yrs from now.

          1. It depends. For delicate soups I make my own stocks and try to cook big enough batch to freeze some portions for later use. For very pungent, hearty ones I use Swanson's chicken broth (never beef broth).

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bigos

              Just curious - why never beef broth? You wouldn't use a beef broth to braise, for instance, a beef/veal cut?

              1. re: lynnlato

                I think that in this case it's that Swanson's beef broth is pretty awful. I like and use Swanson's "Natural Goodness" chicken broth (and especially like their new organic version of it) but the beef broth has always been particularly bad. They do have a new lower sodium organic beef broth that I've been thinking about trying to see if they've improved it. I don't think Bigos is declaring he/she'd never use beef broth or stock generally.

              2. re: Bigos

                I also use Swanson all natural low sodium chicken broth. I use college inn beef broth which has a really deep beef flavor.

              3. I save chicken bones in the freezer until I have enough for a batch of stock. Then I keep the homemade stock in the freezer, too. However, since I don't eat bone-in chicken very often, I also buy Pacific natural foods organic chicken broth (in a box). I know some people buy chickens specifically for stock, but I never have.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Glencora

                  Glencora, I do the same as you. Yes, the Pacific brand is by far the top of line of store bought chicken broth. The other day I found it packaged in 1 cup containers (4 per little container) - nice to have that.

                  1. re: Shunick

                    I buy Pacific brand at Costco now. Great price; much, much cheaper than it was at Trader Joe's.

                    1. re: maestra

                      I generally have my own in the freezer, but when I run out (and we use a lot of stock in the fall / winter) I also use the Pacific. It's great.

                      1. re: tzurriz

                        Completely agree. I do the same thing. I never use Swanson's...Pacific is 100 times better.

                  2. re: Glencora

                    Are the bones still ok to save and use later after cooking, or do you just save one's that are removed before cooking?

                    1. re: ewallace001

                      You can use bones that have been cooked. I usually cut up the carcass of a roast chicken into pieces, then freeze in a ziplock bag.

                      1. re: ewallace001

                        They're definitely good to use after cooking. As MMRuth said, I too save them in a bag in the freezer until I have enough to make enough stock to make it worth my time and effort. I normally go for about 10 quarts at a time (because my stock pot holds 12 quarts).

                        The Ziploc twist top containers seal shut and the smaller ones hold 2 cups which I find to be just right for most of my purposes. I keep the stock in the freezer in those.

                        1. re: ewallace001

                          ok, a bit of clarification. Cooked bones are "usually used to make a brown stock, with pan drippings and a browned mirepoix

                          White stocks use uncooked, unbrowned bones and mirepoix that is not browned.

                          If you are going to use the carcass from a chicken, or turkey that has been cooked, save the skin, and any pan drippings as well. In fact. if you have not deglazed the roasting pan to make gravy, I would plan on tossing my aromatics or mirepoix into the pan and roast them until they start to brown on the edges, deglaze the pan with water, and add your bones.

                          You will end up with a richer stock, with a brown color.

                          I save all the giblets, necks, backs, and trimmings from every chicken and turkey we eat in the freezer and every few months make up a "poultry stock"

                          As half my bones are uncooked and the other half are cooked, I guess I have a "tan" stock, neither a true brown, nor a true white stock.

                          I never have enough homemade stock to use in every recipe, so I use college inn, Pacific, or some commercial chicken base, depending on the recipe. I try to at least simmer some aromatics in the canned stock to freshen up the flavor a bit.

                      2. Stocks pretty easy to make in large patches, so I do so about once a month and break it down into smaller patches for various recipes. Altho there are a few premade stocks out there I've tried, they don't taste authentic to me and I find myself reseasoning or adding chicken to doctor-up the taste.