Basic Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock IngredientsEvery poultry-eating cook needs a go-to chicken stock recipe. I never had one until recently as the yield from my single roasted chicken didn’t seem worth the effort. But, now I can’t imagine wasting a single carcass and simply wait until I have two of them. After all the meat has been eaten, I throw the bones  into a freezer bag, along with any kitchen scraps collected from juicing and cooking during the week (mostly carrot, celery, leek and onion ends). I also save onion skins, as they impart a pleasant caramel color to the stock.Making stock is easy, minimizes produce waste and enables such flavorful and rich soups that you will dread using store-bought stocks. These generally contain some form of sugar (among other undesirable ingredients) and much more sodium than I prefer. Making your own gives you the health benefits of easily digestible minerals, including calcium, improved digestion and an immune boost -and it is nearly free!  Yield: 8 cups        Frozen Chicken Carcass in Stock Pot for Chicken Broth

Chicken Stock Broth Ingredients Boiling

Chicken Stock Broth Ingredients Boiling

EQUIPMENT:

  • 8 quart stock pot (or larger)
  • Fine-mesh sieve for straining

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken or 1 turkey carcass (fresh or frozen) cleaned of meat
  • 16 cups cold water
  • 2 large celery ribs, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 2-4 unpeeled carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 unpeeled onions, cut into 8 sections
  • 10 sprigs parsley (leaves removed) and/or thyme (or more, if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoons black peppercorn
  • 1 bay leaf

 DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place carcass(es) into an a large stock pot.Pour the water over the bones, making a mental note of the water level in the pot. Turn heat to high and bring the water to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, add all the vegetables, parsley, peppercorns and bay leaf. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Let stock simmer, uncovered for 4 – 5 hours. Stir the stock about every half hour.
  3. For the most flavorful stock, simmer the mixture until it has reduced down by at least 1/3rd or even to half the level where you started (remember the mental note you made in step #2?). Let cool for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve into a large bowl. If your sieve is not fine enough to filter out particles, you can line it first with a layer of cheesecloth. The finer the mesh, the clearer the stock. But the process will also take more time with a finer mesh. Using a spoon, push the remnants against the sieve to release remaining stock and clear out the sieve, as needed. Discard the remnants.
  5. Refrigerate stock, covered, for several hours or preferably overnight, letting the flavors blend further. If a separate layer of fat has separated to the top of the cooled broth, skim off before using.

Chicken Stock Broth in Strainer

NOTES:

  • More carrots (4) will bring a sweetness to the stock, which nicely compliments some dishes, such as lentil soup.
  • You can also include the bird parts you may not have cooked, such as the neck and the giblets, although I have not tried this.
  • Letting the bones soak in the water with a few tablespoons of added vinegar for an hour enhances the release of minerals from the bones.
  • By the next day, my stock is more gelatinous than liquid. This is considered a positive reflection of the bird’s health in that exercise generated healthy collagen production.
  • Nutritional Benefits of Homemade Chick Broth
  • Perhaps my sieve is simply not fine enough, but mine is never a perfectly clear broth.

What are your favorite tips for making chicken stock?
Originally posted March 17, 2013

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