How to Make and Freeze Homemade Chicken Stock into Concentrated Cubes

by egdcltd

Homemade chicken stock can be so much nicer than bought cubes, but it can also take up a lot of space in the freezer. This is a way around that.

Once a roast chicken has had all the useful flesh removed, the carcass can then be used to make chicken stock. Homemade chicken stock can be used in many recipes, including soups, and is nicer than making it from powder or cubes.

The stock can be kept in the fridge, or frozen. This recipe concentrates the stock substantially

Ingredients

The Ingredients for Making Chicken Stock
The Ingredients for Making Chicken Stock
eGDC Ltd

1 Chicken carcass - served 3-4 people

1 Parsnip

1 Carrot

1 Onion

5 cloves of garlic

6 black peppercorns

Other vegetables can be used, and more will likely be needed for a larger carcass.

Preparation

The Chopped Vegetables
The Chopped Vegetables
eGDC Ltd

The top and bottom of all the vegetables, and the garlic, need removing. Peel the parsnip and carrot with a potato peeler, and remove the skin from the onion and the garlic.

Cut the parsnip and carrot into large pieces and quarter the onion. Leave the garlic whole.

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Cooking

The Vegetables and Carcass in the Saucepan
The Vegetables and Carcass in the Sau...
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Put the garlic, vegetables and peppercorns into a saucepan. You will need a saucepan that's big enough to take the chicken, but not too big. One where the chicken nearly touches the sides should be big enough. The pan used here was 20cm (8").

Add the carcass, and then add enough cold water to the saucepan to cover the chicken. Put the pan on a low heat and bring to a simmer.

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The Covered Saucepan
The Covered Saucepan
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Once it is simmering, place a lid on, turn the heat down to keep it gently simmering, and leave it for about 2 hours, checking every half an hour. If there is any fat or scum on the top of the liquid, remove it with a shallow spoon. Should it look like the liquid is going down too much, reduce the heat or remove it. The chicken carcass should fall to pieces when it is ready.

Straining the Stock
Straining the Stock
eGDC Ltd
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Remove the pan from the heat and strain the liquid into another, slightly smaller, saucepan, using a sieve lined with kitchen paper. The kitchen paper helps remove what would otherwise pass through a sieve, but it will clog up during the process, so the paper will probably need renewing one or more times.

Reducing the Stock
Reducing the Stock
eGDC Ltd

At this point the stock would normally be ready, and could be chilled or frozen as is, but this is going to be a more concentrated stock.

The strained liquid is simmered uncovered in the new saucepan, again for about two hours on a gentle heat after being brought to a simmer. If it looks like the stock is evaporating too quickly, remove from the heat earlier. This reduced the quantity by about three quarters. This method would probably not be suitable if the stock was going to be used as the base for a soup.

Storing

The Reduced Stock
The Reduced Stock
eGDC Ltd
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After reducing the liquid, the stock was poured into a bowl and left to cool. Once cool, the bowl was left in the fridge overnight.

After chilling it, remove the bowl of stock from the fridge and scrape off any fat that may have risen to the top. The stock may have jellified due to being concentrated, so gently heat it in a saucepan, or zap it in a microwave, to turn it to liquid again. Don't boil or overheat it.

The Stock in the Ice Cube Tray
The Stock in the Ice Cube Tray
eGDC Ltd

Once it is liquid again, pour the stock into an ice cube tray and, after it cools enough from the heating, if applicable, put the tray into the freezer. Using an ice cube tray allows small, individual portions to be frozen, which is useful if you are cooking for one.

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The Frozen Stock
The Frozen Stock
eGDC Ltd

When the stock is frozen, remove the stock cubes from the tray and put them into a sealable bag.

When stock is needed, defrost one frozen stock cube. This can be added directly to a recipe or, if a larger quantity is needed, the stock can be dissolved in boiling water to dilute it. How much water to use depends on how strong you want the stock to be. 100 to 200 ml (4 to 8 fluid oz) of water is normally enough.

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Updated: 05/07/2014, egdcltd
 
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Veronica on 09/22/2015

I always freeze stock but hadn't thought of ice cubes trays. This is a good idea because I can just defrost as much as I want to instead of defrosting it all.

Mira on 09/22/2015

This is a great idea. Thank you!

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