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Too much chicken stock!

I buy 10 chickens at a time from a farm a couple times a year. I cut up the chickens and vacuum seal them, and then make a giant batch of stock and freeze it. The problem is that I'm not using the stock fast enough and now I've probably got 25 quarts in the chest freezer.

So, I'm looking for ideas about how to use chicken stock without necessarily including chicken meat. What can I make other than:

-rice/grains cooked with stock instead of water

Extra points for anything that uses a quart at a time! Thanks.

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  1. That's a lot of stock. Could you super reduce it, by half or more, to turn it into a super rich jelly-like consistency? I believe there's a French cooking word for doing that with other bones.

    4 Replies
    1. re: EarlyBird

      Most of it is already super-concentrated. I just put 6 quarts in the freezer and that was from about 8 chickens' worth of backbones and wing tips!

        1. re: greygarious

          yep. or demiglace. i always reduce meat stocks down to rubbery brown , freeze them in rectangular containers, pop them out and cut them in cubes and put those in a bag and keep frozen. or leave the rectangle as is and cut off what i need each time. I probably end up with 1/5 the volume i started out with before reducing.

        2. re: EarlyBird

          I would definitely do this.if the stock hasn't been salted a tbsp of jelly will impart the most amazing flavour.
          I would use it for stews, all kinds. My favourites right now are chicken thighs with apples, chicken stew(CI latest magazine), chicken chili, blanquette de veau....

          1. re: Antilope

            Use the stuffing in a pork loin or with pork chops. I like to make chicken posole. That'll use a lot of stock. It also needs chicken meat, though..

          2. I always use chicken stock for shrimp etouffee. Seafood stock turns out weird for me.

            When I make tamales I simmer a pork roast in pure chicken stock with lots of spices. The pork tastes good on it's own before the tamale stage.

            1 Reply
            1. re: thymetobake

              thyme, you is a smaht cookie. i haven't done this yet except for avgolemono, but i want to cook pasta in chicken stock (pasta that doesn't get a tomato based sauce.)

            2. I forgot. I also use it for beans as the cooking liquid. Pinto, mayocoba, kidneys, black eyed peas. You could make some red beans and rice.

              1 Reply
              1. re: thymetobake

                You could make Mexican rice to go with the tamales. That would use more of the stock.

              2. Use it as the liquid when steaming vegetables and cooking pasta

                1. Polenta or grits would use up a quart. Make some gravy with another couple of cups, saute some shrimp and have shrimp & grits.

                  Deglaze your sauté pan with it.

                  Cook ravioli or tortellini in stock, remove the pasta and cook down the sauce. Add some herbs and wine.

                  1. Send some to me! I can't seem to make enough stock to keep me going. I use it when cooking veg... butter beans, greens, etc. The other night I made a great spinach/parmesan gratin with chicken stock instead of milk/cream. (based on a Fine Cooking recipe) It was really good and I'll be doing it again (but it only used a little less than a pint).
                    I use it to cook grains and pasta... always in fried rice, orzo, etc.
                    I don't think I could ever have too much.

                    1. This only uses 1 1/2 cups, but if you like Chicken Piccata, give this Zesty Braised Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Capers from Grace Parisi a try. It is absolutely delicious. The thighs are tender and succulent, and the homemade stock really elevates the dish. The sauce is wonderful on mashed potatoes.


                      I know you said no soups (sorry, I couldn't resist!), but Anne Burrell's onion soup is wonderful and calls for 2 quarts of chicken stock!


                      1. All the above ideas are great -- basically you can and probably should use it for almost anything you'd normally use water for. I never use water for anything (except making stock, and even then, you could use the chicken stock as a starter base for a deeper stock like beef or even seafood for something assertive like a bouillabaisse). Jambalaya, gumbo, anything saucy, demi glazes, a variety of braises, pot roast, stews, chili, your Thanksgiving gravy, all will use up quite a bit.

                        I know you say it's super concentrated, but unless it's like a block of solid Jell-O at room temp, it's not concentrated enough. When it is concentrated to the point that it is like a thick syrup, pour into ice cube trays and freeze. You'll save about 95% of the volume that way. Store in Ziplocs and pull out a cube at a time and use in place of Veal Demi in any recipe that calls for it.

                        If all else fails -- and it did for me -- just get a large pressure canner and can up the stuff by the quart. It'll keep a long time in the pantry and free up your freezer space.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: acgold7

                          Yeah, I need to get a pressure canner! Until then, your point about concentrating it further is a good one. It's definitely jello like but not at room temperature. Next time! Thanks.

                          1. re: acgold7

                            Yes on the pressure cooker, especially if you have more shelf space than freezer space! I put up a batch every three months or so - pints, since they're the right size for my household, but quarts aren't any harder. Just remember to label and date them.

                          2. Add it too your spaghetti sauce, then let your sauce simmer down in volume. Make chicken ala king... that recipe uses quite a bit of stock. Add the stock as your liquid when mashing potatoes. Chicken pot pie.

                            1. I'll sometimes poach fish (filets) in stock; add lemon slices and herbs. It's quick and easy when I'm tired/uninspired and can be done in a pan with fish recently pulled from the freezer.

                              Sauteed greens are great with chicken stock to deglaze the pan, simmer and make them saucy.

                              I know you said no soup but not sure you're excluding the following, so pardon if so. I do use stock as bases for blended creamy veg soups: parsnip soup, carrot soup, asparagus soup, butternut squash, potato soup, etc.

                              I can also bet you that you've got a couple of friends who'd love a couple of quarts. I'm finally getting a bit ahead on stock in my freezer but the holidays will drain that down quickly. :)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DuchessNukem

                                If you're seriously short on space and don't want to reprocess these containers to further concentrate, or pressure can, look into whether or not a local soup kitchen or other charity feeding program could use them. Legal liability varies - in some areas they would not be able to accept such a donation. Few food pantries have much, or any, refrigeration/freezer capacity, but you can ask.

                              2. Make sauces. Tonight I sautéed shallot in butter and added flour to make a roux. Then instead of milk like a béchamel I used chicken stock and some parsley. Poured the whole thing over some pumpkin gnocchi an served with Parmesan.

                                1. A big pot of jambalaya with sausage and shrimp.

                                  1. When making a chicken chow mein and using egg noodles, cook the noodles in chicken stock. Also had a chilli to the stock to give the noodles some kick.

                                    1. Just use it wherever you would use water in a recipe.


                                      1. Personally I'd get it out of the freezer and can it. It's not difficult. It's so much more convenient and it's easy to do. Yes you need a pressure canner though.

                                        1. I will sometimes warm up chicken stock (and add a little bit of chives or green onion) and drink it as a snack when I have the munchies.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Atomic76

                                            I love chicken broth to drink. It's one of my favorite drinks (but then I don't drink coffee, and only drink earl or green tea on occasions). On the other hand, I can go through chicken stock like crazy. I'll take any leftovers you have. I can't keep enough on hand.

                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                              I'd consider trying a Bloody Mary fortified with some chicken broth (or beef broth).

                                            2. re: Atomic76

                                              It's lovely when some fresh ginger is simmered in it. Nice for upset tummies.

                                              1. re: Atomic76

                                                Me too. Even a little cayenne to spice things up. Also very soothing when you're feeling under the weather.

                                              2. You're kidding. I go through chicken stock like water. Keep some concentrated stock in a squeeze bottle in the fridge and use it to squirt flavor into, well, pretty much everything that is liquid or semi-liquid. I do a lot of wok cooking, and I add a squirt to stir fries to make sauces. But many other sauces, curries, etc., could benefit as well. Admittedly we also make a LOT of soup--probably nearly a gallon a week--and go through a lot of stock (mainly chicken) that way.

                                                1. On Michael Ruhlman's blog there's a recipe for veal salt - a stock/salt solution reduced slowly in an oven until dry. It looks like an interesting trick and Ruhlman loved the results...(internet search for "veal salt" should get you there)

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: caganer

                                                    Wow - that sounds like a great idea to try. Thanks for the suggestion.

                                                  2. 1) Noodle soup.

                                                    Similar to soup, but you are using it to enhance the noodle. You are not required to drink the soup.

                                                    2) Dough

                                                    Depending what kind of dough you make, you may able to your dough with chicken stock

                                                    3) Energy for the morning

                                                    Drink it instead of coffee or tea. Much better for you

                                                    4) Bath

                                                    Take your bath in it. It is probably good for your skin.

                                                    1. Presents for family?

                                                      (lucky you, though!)

                                                      1. Tortellini in brodo, an Italian classic: tortellini (I buy it rather than make it) cooked in chicken broth and served with the broth and garnished with grated parmesan cheese. Which leads to using stock to cook ravioli, dumplings, gnocci, etc.

                                                        We've been using chicken stock to replace most or all of the butter in Lyonnaise potatoes: not authentic, maybe, but tasty I'm thinking of trying the same thing for a Spanish tortilla (thinly sliced potatoes cooked in a lot of olive oil, then drained and mixed with eggs to make a sort of frittata.)

                                                        Use the stock in place of some or all of the liquid in a white sauce.

                                                        And, now that winter's coming, soups, soups, and more soups.

                                                        1. I make my mashed potatoes by cooking them in stock. Adds so much flavor

                                                          1. makes great enchildas sauce.

                                                              1. I can't give you any better ideas than you received here, because they're superb. However, I'm a Master Food Preserver in California and urge you to take that leap into food preservation of all kinds, not just freezing. Meat (low acid) does have to be pressure canned, as you know, but it's so much easier than people make it out to be. I remember hearing all the frightening stories about exploding pressure cookers as a kid, and pressure canners as an adult. Modern ones, used correctly, just don't do that--honest! If you need info or recommendations, check with your County Ag. Ext. or email me. Happy to oblige.

                                                                9 Replies
                                                                1. re: hopeh

                                                                  I'd love to know what kind of canner you recommend. I'd love to get an American but I just don't think I can justify the expense. At this point I'd just be buying it for chicken stock!

                                                                  1. re: smittys

                                                                    I'm not sure where you live, but I used to live in the country. We would have power outages often. I used to can meats a lot. We had an old wood stove in the living room. When the power was out, I could just open a jar of meat, toss in some fresh veggies and have quick hot stews, etc. So besides stock, you could consider doing other things in the PC to justify something a little bit on the more expensive side. (I used to can anything I could). Besides, you can watch your preservatives this way). Just my 2 cents.

                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                      Yeah, it's definitely occurred to me. I'm heavily reliant on my freezers --I have two in addition to the one attached to the fridge--because I buy all my meat as whole (or parts of a whole) animals. The slaughterhouse cuts up and packages all my pork and beef and it's frozen when I get it, and along with the aforementioned chickens, that's all the meat we eat all year. I'm not too worried about the power going out for too long because I live on a main road. I actually bought a generator just in case after too many scary storms, entirely because of my freezers! But anyway, after all that meat and the vegetables and fruit I freeze every summer, there just isn't a lot of space for the stock and soup and everything else I want to freeze. It would definitely be good to branch out into pressure canning...hmm.

                                                                      1. re: smittys

                                                                        smittys, I agree with boyzoma about the canned meat. It sounds weird, or at least it did until I tried it, but it's very good. You can do it raw or cooked. Raw, the chicken floats to the top and looks odd; cooked, you can fill the jar better so you get more chicken in the "can" (jar). Get an extra turkey--or two?--at this time of year when they're cheap, and can it.

                                                                        When you can things, such as your own chicken soup, you're sure what's in it, in both the quality of the ingredients and "extras" you might not want, such as certain preservatives, dyes, salt, etc. You can't beat canning your own chili, stew, spaghetti sauce, and so forth. You can also use the canner without pressure to make double or triple recipes of all that, so you have a bunch to can for later. There's nothing like opening your own quart or two of chili on a cold winter's night. Which reminds me--the big Presto holds two-quart jars, too--maybe four or five? Never done it myself. Canning your favorite, vine-ripened tomatoes from the farmer's market is terrific. There's no need to use the pressure on high-acid foods, but you avoid having to have too large pots. Just make sure to measure the height of your stove top to the hood or any cabinets you have above. A large canner might be too tall.

                                                                        I agree that the weight thingie has its advantages, since you can hear it from the other room if need be. With a gauge, you're more tied to the kitchen to check on it. Everyone is different.

                                                                        I know several MFP's who LOVE the Presto for the same reasons as rasputina, and I agree that you should buy the large one; it's only a bit more money. Others prefer the All-American, as I do. I hate buying anything made in China, but that's just me. Some don't want to buy from a company that makes ammo for their Dept. of Defense contract. Who would think there's so much politics in purchasing kitchen items? lol.

                                                                        Please forgive me for going on and on. Once I get started on this subject I do get a bit obsessive.

                                                                        1. re: hopeh

                                                                          One of the other things I like about having canned meat is that it shreds so nicely. It's perfect for nice warm roast beef sandwiches, beef stroganoff, sloppy joes (instead of ground beef), etc. and you don't have to let it cook for hours to get tender. Let your mind wander. Being as you are lucky enough to have all that freezer space for your meats, its nice to be able to do the best of both worlds.

                                                                          1. re: hopeh

                                                                            Thanks very much for all this detail!

                                                                          2. re: smittys

                                                                            We lost power due to a hurricane here in Hawai'i one year just before Thanksgiving. Our house was lucky to be on the same little power grid as the head of the electric company so our power was on in a day or so. Other parts of the state didn't have power for over a week so there was a lot of food spoilage, to go along with the hurricane's destruction of homes and crops.

                                                                            My boyfriend's mother gave me their turkey so I put the extra one in an imu (earth oven) that a friend's family had going up the street for the day. Lots of their friends and family members did the same - I think they kalua'd 20+ turkeys that day. Mine I did in the oven so I could make gravy etc.

                                                                            That was a year of true abundance. A kalua turkey fresh from the imu, literally falling off the bones, and an oven turkey hot from the kitchen, with all the traditional sides. With the kalua turkey I also kalua'd some sweet potatoes and peanuts (just cuz I could). We had tons of friends over to eat, and sent all home with hot plates of food for snacking on later that night. People kept coming for days afterwards. I felt like a short order cook!

                                                                        2. re: smittys

                                                                          You can get a 23qt Presto pressure canner on Amazon for about 80 bucks. Spend the extra 12 bucks and get the National Presto Ind 50332 Pressure Regulator and you don't even have to watch the pressure dial.

                                                                          I really wanted an All American for years because everyone raved about them supposedly being superior and never needing replacement parts. Well except the over pressure plug.

                                                                          After using the Presto for a few years I've realized that it would be money better spent buying more Presto's so I can run multiple batches at once and save time, for the same price as one All American I can buy 3 Presto's that hold the same amount of jars each.

                                                                        3. re: hopeh

                                                                          I couldn't agree more. We got a 16-qt pressure canner last summer. We keep a bag of bones and one of veggie trimmings in the freezer, and when they're full, we usually do about ten quarts of stock. We found that freezing stock in ziplocks was problematic in that thawing them on the fly was awkward, and the bags too often were only good for one or two uses and then developed leaks in the corners. Our canning jars will last longer than I will, I'm sure. I also use the pressure canner as my water bath, as it's flat on the bottom, and we have a ceramic-topped range.

                                                                        4. Cabbage Rolls Avgolemono

                                                                          1. Another vote for simmering it down till it's about the viscosity of chocolate syrup when hot, and practically solid when cold. I get a 20 quart stockpot worth of stock into a half pint jar. For this reason I never ever salt my stock - the resulting concentrate would be a salt lick. Instead I salt the dish when I am cooking it.

                                                                            It is the perfect addition to spinach - wilt a big bunch in a hot pan, add a little bit of nutmeg and about 1/4 teaspoon of stock concentrate. You get all the taste of the stock without watering it down first and then overcooking the spinach to dry it back up again, so the spinach is just barely wilted. Perfection!

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: JasFoodie

                                                                              Absolutely right. This concentrate won't be so very different from the commercial soup stock bases restaurants use -- except yours will have a lot less salt and you'll know exactly what's in it.

                                                                              1. re: JasFoodie

                                                                                Cool! How do you store it so you can use it 1/4 tsp at a time?

                                                                                I just rearranged my freezers (after bringing home my annual quarter cow this morning!) and I only have 15 quarts of stock after using some ideas from this thread!

                                                                                And I never salt my stock or add anything at all other than the chicken bones. If I want it to taste like onion and carrot and stuff, I can add that later!

                                                                                1. re: smittys

                                                                                  Sorry for the extremely delayed response. I'm sure you've used up the stock by now.. but I just put it into a jar and stick it in the fridge. It's kinda a thick paste when refridgerated so you can scoop out what you need with a spoon.

                                                                              2. Ye gods, if you have a supply of double-strength already-reduced made-from-scratch chicken stock, you have solid gold on hand. Would some of your friends like a gift? Meanwhile, use some to make oceans of rich chicken-y gravy and add boneless skinless chicken breast meat that you have cut up, and also some celery and mushrooms, and freeze this Chicken a la King. You can use it on rice or pasta or mashed potatoes, in crepes, in omelets, on toast, on hot biscuits, on baked potatoes, or in pastry as a chicken pie.