Q. A friend of mine was recently telling me that he makes his own chicken stock. I thought the idea sounded great, and he gave me his recipe. I’ve been having trouble digesting certain additives in commercial stocks, and I think making my own will be healthier for me and save me some money too. Only, I didn’t realize how long it takes to make chicken stock, nor how big a batch one recipe makes. I know I won’t be able to eat all the stock before it goes bad, but I also don’t want to have to make stock every time I need to use some. My friend freezes his and swears it’s safe, but I’m not sure. Can you freeze chicken stock?
A. Your friend is correct, you can safely freeze chicken stock! It’s a simple, easy way to always have fresh stock on hand for soups, stews, and even gravies. There’s no problem making a large batch of chicken stock and freezing most of it for later. The trick is to store it properly to maintain flavour and freshness, and to make it easy to use.
First, start with fresh stock. Don’t freeze chicken broth that has been in the fridge too long or that has been sitting at room temperature for an extended period of time. Cook your broth, and then allow to cool completely. Freezing broth that is still hot can result in condensation forming, and lead to freezer burn.
One the broth is cool, freeze it in the portion sizes you need for regular cooking. This way you only need to thaw the amount of broth that you will use at one time. Freezing broth in freezer bags is a great way to minimize the amount of space the broth takes up in the freezer. Choose the freezer bag that best corresponds to the amount of broth you wish to freeze.
Stand the freezer bag up in a bowl, folding the edge of the bag over the rim of the bowl to hold it upright. Pour or ladle in the amount of broth you wish to freeze, then seal the bag tightly. Label and date the bag, then store in the freezer lying flat so that it can be stacked. To use, remove the stock from the freezer and place it in the fridge to thaw. It can also be thawed under running water. Then, use it as you would fresh stock in your favourite recipes.