Chicken Stock forms the base of a lot of dishes. It adds depth and flavour to all dishes made using it. Though readymade chicken stock is available, it always adds to your sodium intake. So whenever possible trying to make your own is always the better option.
Usually chicken pieces with bone and skin are simmered with other vegetables and spices for a long time on stove top so that all the flavours are infused into the stock. But these days no one has the patience to spare so much time. I prefer to make mine in a pressure cooker, which eases and quickens the job. The end result is so flavourful, that you can have it all by itself.
Do not get intimidated by the list of ingredients or the color of the stock. Its not an attractive orange or yellow color, coz the meat pieces have been fried. And I prefer doing it that way, as it brings out the maximum flavour of the chicken. But you can always opt to add the chicken pieces to boiling water. A pinch of turmeric can also be added to boost the color.
The vegetables are being added after the stock starts boiling, as they do not need as much cooking as the meat with bones. Again the herbs are added after cooking so that the fragrance does not die down by too much cooking. If you are not using the pressure cooker, add the veggies once the meat is half cooked, and the herbs after switching off.
There is no hard and fast rule for making a chicken stock, but everyone has a method to go about it. This is my way of doing it. I used a part of the stock for making egg drop soup, and it tasted so good, that we yearned for more 🙂 . The remaining is stored in the freezer. The left over chicken meat, was used up in making a filling for chapatis.
Lets get to the recipe.
- 300 g Chicken pieces
- 1 Onion sliced
- 1 carrot
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 " piece ginger
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 12 curry leaves
- 2-3 sprigs corriander leaves
- 2-3 sprigs parsely
- 6 cups water
- salt a bit
- 1 tsp whole pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp corriander seeds
- a pinch fennel seeds
- 1 " piece cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 2 cardamom
- 1 bay leaf
- In a Pressure cooker ,dry fry the spices for a few minutes till a nice smell emanates. Lightly crush them using the stone of the motor and pestle.
- Add the chicken pieces, and saute till the flesh turns color and starts sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Now add the water, scraping the bottom of the pan for the the stuck brown bits.
- Once it starts boiling, add the sliced onion, carrot, crushed ginger and garlic, vinegar and salt. Pressure cook for three whistles and turn off stove.
- After it cools down, open the lid and add the roughly chopped curry leaves, corriander leaves and parsely. Close it again and let it be for 15 minutes.
- Once the pressure fully releases, strain the stock. I normally press down the strainer with a ladle, so that the maximum flavour is extracted.
- Use it immediately or cool down and store. It holds well in the refrigerator for about a week, and in the freezer for more than 6 months.
- You can adjust the spices as per your taste preference.
- No oil was added in this recipe, but still lots of oil were floating on top of the stock. This oil adds a richness to the soup, though you can skim it off if you are looking for a lighter version.