1 December 2010

Recipe 8 - Chicken Stock (Ζωμός Κότας)

I know what you’re going to ask me. What’s the point in spending time to make our own chicken stock, when you can easily buy chicken stock cubes (like Knorr, OXO, etc) at the supermarket.

Well, mainly for 3 reasons:

1.    By making your own you know what goes in it.
2.    It tastes a lot better and has no chemicals.
3.    I told you I like cooking everything from scratch.

I got this recipe from none other than Mr Gordon Ramsey himself (well, not in person but in one of his books). I tried it, I liked it, so ‘if something works don’t try to fix it’. I now make plenty of it once every 2-3 months and freeze it in the form of ice cubes. All I have to do when I need it is mix a couple of ice cubes with hot water and the chicken stock is ready!!

Another hurdle you have to jump is finding a place to buy chicken bones and carcases from. Obviously, a supermarket never sells them. You will definitely find a butcher that does, even if it means you have to order them for the following day.

Here we go then (this recipe makes about 1.5 litres of stock):

2 tbsps olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 leek, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsps tomato puree
2 tbsps plain flour
1 kilo raw chicken bones/carcases
Salt and pepper to season

1.    Place the chicken carcases in the oven for 20min at 200C (Gas mark 6). This makes the stock have greater depth in flavour.

2.    Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the vegetables, herbs and garlic.

3.    Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft and golden.

4.    Stir in the tomato puree and flour. Cook for another minute.

5.    Add the chicken bones and pour enough cold water to cover them.

6.    Season lightly and bring to the boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface (the frothy stuff you see in the picture below).

7.    Reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for about 1 hour.

8.    Let the stock stand for a few minutes to cool slightly.

9.    Pass the stock through a fine sieve and leave to cool.

10.    Use what you need on the day and freeze the rest of the stock in convenient portions, for up to 3 months. You can also refrigerate it for up to 5 days.


•    You can freeze the stock into ice cube trays and once frozen divide the cubes into small bags to use when needed. Usually use about 4-5 cubes per litre of stock needed.

•    If you need to make a quick rice or pasta dish, throw a few cubes in the water you boil the pasta/rice in. They will taste delicious even if you just eat them with nothing else.

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