The more I cook, the more I truly believe good quality ingredients are the key to good quality food.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
17 thoughts on “Making Chicken Stock”
I use split chicken breasts. Like Sylvia, I only like white meat and split breasts provide lots of flavor. I simply peel the skin and pull the meat off the bone when done cooking. I often use a Pampered Chef covered baker as well. It’s one of the priciest pieces I have ever ordered from PC and I can’t imagine how I lived without it. It makes perfect roasted chicken and great stock!
Good to know, Melinda. Thanks for sharing!
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.
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.
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.
I’ve used a carcass before as well, Ang. That’ll get you a great stock, too!
Can I make the stock in a crockpot instead of on the stove top? Just wondering since most of the day I’m at work.
I don’t see why not, Cathy. I’ve never tried it before, though. If you do, I’d love for you to share how it turns out 🙂
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!!
Must we use a turnip? Any ideas for an alternative?
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!
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.
I’ve thought about using a rotisserie chicken before, but have never gotten around to it. Hard to complain if it tastes good, right? 😉
I really notice a difference when we get the good stuff versus just using mass produced items. Thanks for cooking so well for me.
I’m so glad you notice a difference, Dustin…and that you like it so much too!
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
Hi Cora! Thank you so much for all those kind words…you are so sweet. Take care!
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