Making Chicken Stock

The more I cook, the more I truly believe good quality ingredients are the key to good quality food.

Making Chicken Stock recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

I mean…it sounds so simple, right?  You put in good ingredients and you get good food.   Even with all that simplicity, it is hard to remember.  Well…it is for me, at least.

Now, I’m no Ina Garten (darnit!), meaning there are definitely several shortcuts I take in my kitchen.  But, I have come to learn these shortcuts usually come at a price.

For example, I know if I use canned chicken broth, I will not get as much flavor than if I use homemade chicken stock.  This rule, I have found, applies to many things, like homemade aiolis versus preservative-filled, store-bought mayonnaise, homemade tomato sauce versus sauce from a jar, homemade eggnog versus what you’d buy in a carton, etc.  This list, fortunately and unfortunately, can go on and on.

Making Chicken Stock

The good news?  If you put in the effort, you get a superior tasting result.  The bad news?  You do have to put in some effort.  Sorry.

Believe it or not, making chicken stock is actually very simple.  Basically, you throw all the ingredients in a large pot, cook for a bit and then strain.  All you gotta do is do it.  And, trust me, it is worth it.  The depth of flavor, the fresh ingredients and the satisfaction of making the base to your meal will all be there when you’re done. I promise.

Making Chicken Stock

I’ve been making my own chicken stock for a few years now.  Do I ever buy the canned stuff?  Of course.  But I know what I’m missing out on if I do.  So, this week, when we had some extra vegetables left over from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), I knew exactly how to make use of them.  That is another beauty of making chicken stock: you don’t waste extra carrots, celery, onion or chicken.  You just throw ‘em in the pot.

Making Chicken Stock recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Awesome, right?

Making Chicken Stock

1 5-lb. roasting chicken, cleaned and innards removed
3 1/2 quarts water (just enough to cover chicken)
2 large yellow onions, cleaned, unpeeled and quartered
4 carrots, unpeeled and halved
3 celery stalks with leaves, cut into thirds
6-8 sprigs fresh parsley
10-12 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 garlic bulb, unpeeled and cut in half
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
1 turnip, unpeeled and halved
2 bay leaves

Directions

Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add just enough water to mostly cover the chicken. Adding too much water will dilute the flavor of the final stock. Add the thyme, parsley, kosher salt, peppercorns and bay leaves and allow to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1-hour to 1 1/2-hours, until chicken is fully cooked.

Carefully remove the chicken and allow to cool. Once cooled, the chicken can be de-boned and shredded for other use.

Carefully strain the stock using a strainer over another large pot or bowl to catch the liquid. Season with additional kosher salt and/or ground black pepper to taste. Discard all the strained vegetable solids. Stock can be used immediately or stored in an air-tight container for up to one week in the refrigerator or longer if frozen.

Enjoy!

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As always, I want to thank you for visiting. I welcome your comments, questions, recipe suggestions and food stories. Here’s to doing what you love!

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Comments

  1. Silvia says

    Lacey, I also make my own chicken stock but I don’t use a whole chicken because then I’m left with the whole chicken meat and what do you do with that? I hate to throw that away. What I do is I buy the bone in chicken breasts and carved the meat out to use later on my recipes. Then I collect several breast skeletons in the freezer and when I have enough I make my chicken stock with all the vegetables that goes in. When the chicken stock is ready, I keep all the vegetables and puree them into a vegetable cream which we have on a cold night for dinner. With the skeletons becuase there is always some meat on it, I try to take as much as I can get out and when feeding my dogs their regular food I treat them with some of the meat that I took out of the bones.

    • says

      Hi Silvia! That is another great way to make chicken stock. When I make my stock, I’ll use the cooked chicken for shredded chicken nachos, chicken pot pies, chicken quesadillas or other dishes so it doesn’t go to waste.

  2. Ang says

    Hmmm. I guess I have always worked backwards with chicken stock! I have always just taken the carcass from the leftover chicken we made. This way does sound much more intense and I will definitely try it this way in the coming weeks.

  3. David Ellis says

    I was looking for a recipe for chicken n dumplings so I googled it. It led me to your cool site. I not only used you recipe for chicken n dumplings but I also used this recipe and made my own stock. It was delicious. I will share this with my friends!!

    • says

      No, Natalie, it is definitely not vital to use a turnip if you don’t have access to them or just don’t like them. You could try using a rutabaga or a parsnip instead if you have either of those. Otherwise, it won’t make a gigantic difference if it is left out entirely…I just like the subtle flavor it gives. No worries!

  4. says

    I like to use a fresh (plain, not flavored) rotiserrie chicken from my grocery store’s deli with 2 cartons of organic chicken broth. Then I throw in all the veggies and simmer for at least 3-4 hours. The darker the roast on the skin, the better it tastes. I know…it’s cheating…but it tastes so good! And once it’s all cooked down, I can pick out the chicken and use it for just about anything.

  5. says

    Hello Chef Lacey! It’s true: when you use good quality ingredients the results are awesome. My mom use to say this to me… and she gave me this recipe few months ago and the flavor is… so gratifying. Congratulations for your work, your awesome and thanks a lot for share it. God Bless You

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