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