Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stock Up for Spring! by Duck Momma

Stock pot with chicken and veggies
Warm weather is on its way. . . really. . . not that you can tell this week. But it is and when it gets warm, Goose and I will be busy enjoying it! After spending all day outside, finding the energy to fix dinner can be a big challenge. I am a huge fan of having plenty of rich homemade chicken stock in the freezer to make everything easier, from quick week night dinners to nursing early spring colds.

Stock is always a great way to use every bit of the items you buy. You pay for those chicken backs when you buy whole chickens. You pay for leek tops, celery leaves, and mushroom stalks. So use them! They are all still very flavorful, but might not be great served on a plate alone. In my stock pot you will find those chicken backs, leek tops, celery, carrots, red onions, fresh garlic, lemon zest, as well as some tougher chicken that I had in the freezer.

The lovely rainbow of herbs and spices in my stock pot

But it doesn't end there! I take great pride in my herb and spice cabinet and I love using them. Not sure what to use? Smell them. Do they smell like they would pair with a chicken dish? I typically use kosher salt (if you don't have sea salt this is an excellent substitute), black pepper, bay leaves, corriander, thyme, rosemary, lavender, garlic powder, oregano, and saffron. Its a wide array but they compliment eachother well and do a lot to make my large pot of stock even better.

So what can you do with all those odds and ends?Make life easier of course!
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