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Old 07-31-2007, 04:23 AM   #1
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Chicken stock help

Hi,

Well I'm learning to do some basics properly as I'm really loving cooking now :) (before it was a chore!).

One of my problems with making stock at the moment is that our fridge/freezer is really small so I can't make huge amounts of stock to keep on hand. However I'd like to even be able to make smaller amounts to keep with me. I'll be getting a freezer when we go back to Australia but for now I'm limited.

Any tips on making stock? The last one I made was just chicken bones / carrots / onions / celery / some pepper and some herbs. I'm not sure if I put salt but I don't think I did as I figured I'd rather flavour the salt when I'm cooking whatever I'm cooking. Is that a good idea or not?

My main question is how far can I reduce stock down to save freezer space?

Also I have read there are certain safety recommendations for cooling down stock? I didn't do anything in particular so I hope I'm not on the way to food poisoning! It's 50 degrees C here so boiling hot in the kitchen. Is there anything I should be careful of?

Thankyou!

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Old 07-31-2007, 04:26 AM   #2
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One more question - I'm getting a pressure cooker. Can you make stock quicker in that or would it affect the flavour? I don't really care how long it takes but if it is quicker with no affect on the flavour I'm happy to use it :)
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:47 AM   #3
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On storing stock, one trick I use is a shoe box and zip lock baggies. Keep the lid to your shoe box because you can use this to lay your baggies flat to freeze them. I put one cup or two cups of stock in each bag and lay flat and freeze. Once frozen, the can 'file' them inot your shoebox. I keep all my homemade stock this way, easy to access.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:52 AM   #4
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I agree, I freeze everything in zip lock - flat (air out) !
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:37 AM   #5
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While I do sometimes freeze stock in quart & 1/2 quart containers, I also ALWAYS freeze stock in ice cube trays. Each cube equals approximately 1/8 of a cup. When the cubes are frozen, I empty them into freezer bags.

Makes it SO easy when a recipe calls for 1/4 or 1/2 or 1 cup of stock, & all I have to do is add the appropriate number of cubes.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:59 AM   #6
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Turando, I'm not sure about the pressure cooker method because I've always made mine in my big stockpot. I don't salt mine because, as you mention, it is done just as well when it's used in whatever dish your're using it in.

I don't have a freezer space issue, but freezing it in freezer-weight plastic bags and freezing it flat is the best idea for larger quantities. But, I also do as Breezy mentioned and store a quantity of my stock in ice cube trays when I need only a small amount for a recipe.

As for reducing the stock to allow for storage, the only thing reducing will accomplish except, of course, giving you a smaller volume of liquid is to concentrate the flavor. I almost always reduce mine, but only to enhance the flavor.

I keep a couple of plastic soda bottles filled with water in my freezer to quick chill soups and stocks. Just plunge the frozen bottle of water into the soup/stock and swish around until everything's as cool as you need. Another thing the frozen bottle does is to collect some of the fat, so you can do a little defatting at the same time.

Best wishes on your stocks.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:03 PM   #7
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Hi,

Thankyou for the tips and ideas :) The ice cubes and the freezer bag flat style seems likes the best way for me to save space in the freezer.

Katie - thanks for the frozen bottle idea :)
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:36 PM   #8
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Your on the right track with carrots,onions. celery LEAVES and 2-3 stalks of celery, some times I add a little thyme to my stock at the last 10 minutes of cooking , Yes you can reduce your stock it intensifies the flavor and save a lot of room I use the backs wing tips all of the bones I bone out my bird.and I freeze them till I get enough to make a good strong stock then a gallon of stock will reduce down to a pint and be super strong
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:44 PM   #9
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In regards to your pressure cooker question.

I tried it the pressure cooker once and the stove top (way my mum has always done, me too)

It's not quicker, I was told it was and after an hour it wasn't very tasty. I left it the same amount of time I would normally in my saucepan and it was ok.

I normally leave it for a couple hours stove top. even more if i have time.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:51 PM   #10
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Turando, I should've thought about this earlier but, as they say, "Better late than never."

Check out my chicken stock recipe. Look at my first post in the thread for the recipe.
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