White (chicken) stock is the most versatile of all stocks. The process of making a stock is to put a mirepoix into a pot, cover with water and simmer for a given time. A mirpoix is a combination of vegetables that are used to give flavor to the water which transforms into a stock. Do you remember we gave a couple tips about the mirepoix when we talked about 9 Tips For Flavorful Stocks.
We wanted the experience of making chicken stock. We followed the directions in the Martha Stewart’s Cooking School Cookbook. We added the chicken parts, mirepoix, herbs and finally the water to the stock pot. As soon as it came to a boil we reduced the heat to a simmer. We were surprised at the amount of impurities and fat we were able to skim off the top. We must have done a pretty good job because after straining it through cheesecloth we were left with a clear not cloudy stock. We were pretty impressed with ourselves.
We decided making our own stock is time consuming not for the prep time but for the simmering time. We had to skim off the impurities every so often which meant we couldn’t just leave it alone for a few hours. Seeing the stock pot begin filled almost to the top and then in the end being left with only about 8 cups was actually pretty disappointing. For our family of 7 this would be just barely enough for a part of a meal. What would happen when they grow older and start eating more? This was a good lesson for us to learn. I do advise others to try it once just so you know how to do it. I have no doubt that homemade chicken stock is better then prepackaged stock, but for our busy lives I do not forsee us making this again.