Leigh Belanger’s Stock Plus
Makes about 10 cups stock plus 3 to 4 cups shredded chicken meat
Whenever I cook a chicken this way, I have a plan in mind for the chicken meat and the stock that week. Usually it’s tacos or enchiladas one night and chicken pot pie later in the week. I make soup with the stock and freeze whatever’s left of that liquid gold. I can also use it to cook pasta or rice, or to splash into beans or greens I’m heating up.
1 chicken (3 – 4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry, gizzard and liver removed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
3 celery stalks, rinsed and halved
2 carrots, scrubbed and halved
1 to 2 dried bay leaves
8 to 10 peppercorns
- Liberally salt the chicken all over; don’t be shy. Put it in a large stockpot and cover by an inch with cold water. Add the onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and peppercorns and bring to a boil over high heat.
- When the pot boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. After an hour, the chicken will be perfectly cooked but still too hot to handle. Remove the lid and let it cool a while in the pot (30 minutes or so).
- Once cooled, pull the chicken from the pot, pick all of the meat off of it, and store the meat, covered, in the refrigerator. Chicken meat will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
- Return the chicken carcass to the pot, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and simmer for 1 hour, skimming any foam that rises to the top.
- Strain bones and aromatics. Taste and adjust seasoning. Let stock cool, skim the fat off of the top, then pour it into Mason jars or freezer bags for storage.
Stock will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week and in the freezer for months, but I like to use it within 1 to 2 months.
Other ways to use the chicken meat:
- Make a chicken salad with fresh herbs, good olive oil, nuts and vinegar
- Add shredded chicken meat to quesadillas
- Simmer with a little adobo sauce and top a bowl of beans and rice
- Make a pasta bake with rigatoni, bechamel, greens, and shredded chicken
- Simmer with some stock and add ginger, soy, mushrooms, greens and udon noodles for a quick noodle soup.