Jul 28, 2010

Small Savings: Homemade Stock (Janssen)

There are some common grocery items where the price doesn't phase me at all. Yogurt? No problem. Sugar? Got tons.

But for some reason, I find chicken broth absurdly expensive. Or filled with chemicals. Or both. When I'm making a recipe that calls for something like 7 cups of chicken broth, I am filled with horror.

You can make your own chicken stock by boiling chicken bones, but I rarely, if ever, buy chicken with bones in it, so this doesn't really solve my problem.

I do, however, buy a lot of vegetables and there are always parts of vegetables you don't really eat on their own (the tops of celery stalks, carrot peelings or tops, the ends of onions, broccoli stems, etc). And frankly, I don't really notice a difference between chicken broth and vegetable broth.

Over the course of a week or so, I put the leftover vegetables parts in a tupperware until I have a good little pile.

I toss it all in my stockpot, cover it with water, put in some bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper, and let it simmer for a few hours. Then I cool it, strain out the vegetables, pour the broth in my ice cube molds, and put the frozen cubes in a big tupperware in the freezer.

Then, when I need it for a recipe, it costs me virtually nothing, even if the recipe requires a ludicrous amount of broth. Plus, I get to feel good about not having wasted my vegetables. Not to mention that it's not filled with weird ingredients.


Mary Frances said...

I am totally going to do this from now on, as I too HATE spending so much money on chicken broth (which seems to be, in the end, flavored water). Thanks!

Miriam said...

never thought of doing this - what a good idea!

Angela said...

Actually if you want to save a bit more, but some fryer chickens and break them down yourself. Alton Brown has a great video on YouTube on how to do it. We do this sometimes, and it saves a lot of money on chicken meat plus we use the carcass to make broth. Throwing in the rind of a parmesan block adds some good flavor too, and onion skin adds great color.

Chelsea said...

I like this idea. I usually get to that place in the store, think that it is too much, so I replace it with water and some spices in my recipes. This seems like it will be a better, more flavorful match!

Packrat said...

I didn't even know that canned broth was available to purchase until Costco opened. Broth (beef and chicken and yes, your vegetable broth) are so easy and so inexpensive to make. I only keep purchased broth on the shelf in case of an "emergency".

Broth can be frozen in canning jars, too. Just be sure to leave head room for expansion.

Note to those wanting to make their own beef broth: Don't buy already cut up meat unless it is on sale at a really good price. Beef cuts up easier if it is slightly frozen or very cold. Brown, cover with water, simmer until tender.

Saving the leftover vegetables in a container in the freezer is great for adding to a pot of soup, too.

Stephanie said...

Janssen, I'm trying the muffin recipe you recommended...Martha's blueberry banana muffins. I just happen to have everything on hand! Love when that happens...it'll be nice to put this wheat germ to use finally :)


artemisia said...

Thank you for sharing the actual details and logistics of this. I always get caught by the scheduling of it all.

Sometimes I buy whole chickens (there is something gratifying in cutting up a chicken oneself.) and use the back and bones for broth, too.

artemisia said...

Oh, do you use separate ice cube trays for freezing stuff like stock?