food safety question - chicken stock
I made a homemade chicken stock about 10-12 days ago and its been sitting in the fridge since. I know I should have put it in the freezer but just didn't get around to it. I'm trying to decide whether I should use it. I was thinking about boiling it for 5-10 minutes to kill any evil bacteria and such and then using it. What would you do?
Which is it, 10 or 12 days? How much salt is in it? How firm of a gel? Did it have a layer of fat on top? How cold is your fridge?
1. was only 10 days old
2. was fairly concentrated
3. had a decent amount of salt
4. had 1/2" or more of fat on top
5. was stored in a cold fridge (no more than 38)
I might defat it, cut off a small piece, bring it to a boil and taste it. If it tastes fine, I'd use it. I probably wouldn't cry over spilled milk, but to have to throw out homemade stock... that would depress me to no end :)
Btw, from a food safety perspective, the 5 day boil 'trick' is a myth. A few strains of bacteria can survive the boiling process. The only way to preserve stock is to freeze it.
This is exactly the reason IMO those boxes of broth with the pouring spout never made any sense to me. The idea of having just a little broth on hand any time you need it is great, but you'd have to cook with stock awfully frequently to use it all up within a week--or else freeze it, defeating the spout's purpose.
Stock has to be frozen in small containers unless you know you're going to use the whole thing for a batch of future soup. Storing ice cubes in a plastic bag is a great way if you often only need a tablespoon or two at a time. Otherwise 1 cup portions.