The Clever Reason You Should Always Save Roasted Chicken Stock

Chicken stock and ladle
Chicken stock and ladle - Ahanov Michael/Shutterstock

Saving stock made from the leftover carcass of a roast chicken to use in soups and risotto is an excellent move to stretch your grocery budget and lend some umami magic to weeknight meals. Just a small splash of this highly-flavored amber elixir can turn a drab dish into a comforting, deeply savory feast. But there's another clever reason you should always save roasted chicken stock: It makes the perfect base for a fast chicken ramen that can be prepped and served in minutes.

Roasted chicken stock is the ideal foundation for building a quick noodle soup because it's jam-packed with an existing rich flavor. The truth is that you've already done most of the hard work by allowing the chicken bones, along with herbs and aromatics, to simmer gently on the stovetop for a few hours. And it's this slow simmer that extracts the collagen from the bones, resulting in a stock that has a gelatinous texture and thick consistency once cooled. It's even better if you've used chicken feet to make your stock because it results in a concentrated, nutritious broth that's high in collagen, improves the immune system, and aids digestion. Another tip is to add a dash of acid, in the form of vinegar, lemon juice, or white wine, to the stock pot, which works to dissolve the connective tissue in a chicken carcass. This helps to eke out every last bit of flavor from the bones to create a stock with a rich mouthfeel.

Read more: 30 Japanese Dishes You Need To Try At Least Once

How To Use Roasted Chicken Stock To Make Chicken Ramen

Chicken ramen soup with boiled egg
Chicken ramen soup with boiled egg - Tbralnina/Getty Images

Chicken ramen takes minutes to put together if you've already got a deliciously flavored stock up your sleeve. All you need are a few aromatic ingredients to add some punch to the mellow stock and some leftover shredded chicken and vegetables to finish. Begin by placing your stock on the stovetop, along with a dash of soy for saltiness, chili for warming heat, and lemongrass for brightness. If you aren't keen on chilies, add julienned sticks of ginger for a little ember without the fire. Once these flavors have been imbued into the stock, add in vegetables, like scallions, carrots, mushrooms, snow peas, or bok choi, along with your cooked chicken and noodles to make a delicious one-pot meal.

For a spicier chicken ramen, sprinkle in some shichimi togarashi seasoning, add a dollop of fermented paste, like gochujang, or even mix in some ranch seasoning for extra tang. Indeed, the true beauty of stocking your fridge with roasted chicken stock is that you can customize your ramen to your liking using the ingredients you have on hand and the flavors that you prefer. So, instead of using instant ramen that comes with a flavor packet, why not make your own Japanese noodle soup by saving your chicken stock and stashing it in the freezer for later?

Read the original article on Tasting Table.