Basic Homemade Chicken Stock

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Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

There are a lot of methods for making chicken stock. Some folks make it in the slow cooker. Some folks make it in the oven. This is one of the ways that I make mine on top of the stove. It’s a good, basic method and yields a richly flavored, golden chicken stock that’s a good base for soups and sauces.

Roasting all the ingredients before simmering them is one key to a deeply chicken-y flavored stock.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Customize this recipe to create your own unique stock. Some ideas for add-ins:

+More garlic + fresh ginger + fresh chili peppers
+Fennel + fresh thyme + celery root
+Smoked pork hock + rosemary + parsnip


One of my favorite things to do with this is make good, old-fashioned chicken noodle soup, with alphabet noodles.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

What kind of chicken should you use for chicken stock?

I’ll typically whip up a batch of this whenever I find a good sale on chicken parts. This time, I got a huge package of chicken necks. I usually prefer the mix of chicken wings, necks, and backs that my mom uses, but just didn’t like the way they looked this time.

All that said, you can do this with a leftover roasted chicken carcass. If you can find ’em (and are brave enough to deal with them), chicken feet also make fabulously velvety stock because of all the gelatin in them.

The basic technique for homemade chicken stock

This stock takes a few hours to cook, but actually requires very little active time on your part. I like to make stock on the weekend, when I can get it cooking and keep an eye on it while I get other stuff done.

Roast your chicken and veggies (skins and all) to brown them and start developing flavor. Toss them in a pot with water and simmer for a few hours. Skim off the fat, strain the stock, and freeze.

The onion skin helps give the stock a deep, golden color.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock: A note on stock pots

I use a pasta pot with a built in strainer to make this stock, because I like how easy the insert makes it to remove all the big ingredients. Just be careful not to fill it to the top, or the stock may boil out between the strainer and the pot and make a huge mess.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

If you don’t have a pasta pot, just use any big pot you have. Be sure that it has a tight-fitting lid.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock

3 lbs. assorted chicken necks, backs & wings
1 large sweet onion, cut up into large pieces
15 baby carrots (or 2-3 regular carrots, chopped roughly)
4 ribs celery, cut up into large pieces
1 head garlic, sliced in half
water
1 bay leaf
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
olive oil
fresh parsley

Yields about 8 cups of stock

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock: Roast the chicken and veggies

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with foil and parchment paper and set aside.

Like I said, I had big package of chicken necks. Give them a rinse and pat them dry.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Cut up your veggies and spread them out on one of your prepared pans. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Toss to coat.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Spread the chicken out on the second pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Pop both pans into your preheated 425 degree oven.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Roast for about an hour, until the chicken and veggies are nicely browned.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock: Simmer the stock

When your chicken and veggies are browned, yank them out of the oven. Transfer the veggies to your stock pot.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Be sure to get all that juice and those brown bits.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Toss in a handful of fresh parsley if you have it on hand.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Toss the chicken into the pot with the veggies.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Again, scrape in all the juice and brown bits.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Fill the pot about 3/4 of the way full with cold water.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Give it a stir.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Toss in a little kosher salt.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Drop in a fresh bay leaf.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Set the pot on the stove over high heat. Bring it to a boil. When it starts to boil, drop the heat to low and simmer it.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

When it’s been simmering for a few minutes, skim some of the fat off the surface and discard.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Drop the heat to low and cover the pot tightly. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Peek at it every once and a while and skim more fat off if needed. Your stock should look about like this:

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock: Strain the stock

When the stock is ready, strain the solids out of it.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Discard the solids. (They’ll pretty much have given up all their goodness and flavor to the stock.)

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Once I’ve removed the solids, I like to strain it one more time, to get all the tiny little bits out of it. Sometimes I use my chinois for this, but honestly, I hate washing the thing. Set a strainer over a large bowl. Line it with a paper towel or some cheese cloth.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Ladle the stock through the cloth into the bowl.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Repeat until you’ve strained all the stock.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

You should wind up with a bunch of gunk in the strainer:

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

And a bunch of beautiful stock in the bowl:

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

You probably strained most of the fat off when it was simmering, but if you didn’t, skim most of the rest off now.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Let the stock cool to room temperature, then stick it in the fridge for 2-3 days, or split up among smaller containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock: Serve and enjoy!

Like I said, there are a zillion ways to use chicken stock, but my all-time favorite has to be chicken noodle soup.

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

Basic Homemade Chicken Stock at The Hungry Mouse

 

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

29 COMMENTS

  1. that is an awesome tutorial! I’ve been wanting to make my own vegetable stock for sometime now. This will be my guide and I figure I can opt out on using chicken carcass.

  2. I make my own chicken stock two or three times a year (I’m an oven guy) but it never looks as good as the batch you’ve prepared, I’ll definately try roasting everything next time. Great Idea.

    And the alphabet letters made me smile. Nicely done as always 🙂

    • Oh, oh! I’ve never made stock in the oven. Would love to know how you do it!

      Definitely give the roasting a shot. It makes the process longer, but does add a lot of flavor.

      And thanks about the noodles. 😀

      +Jessie

  3. This is an awesome post! I really love your pasta spelling out Hungry Mouse! So cute!! You have one of the best blogs out here, your posts are always so informative!!

  4. I like to make my own stocks and there is so many dishes that you can use it in.I use a slow cooker and put it on low the night before.
    I do the same thing when I make vegetable broth.I love being able to control the salt.I seldom use salt in cooking- add it before I eat.

    I will give this a try.

  5. I make my own chicken stock, but I cannot believe I never thought to use my pasta pot with strainer…duh… too bad I didn’t think of this on Thanksgiving, when I dumped my stock into a colander without a pot underneath it! Down the drain it all went… I learned some great new tips…like the second straining. Great tutorial and gorgeous photos.
    Thank you so much!

    • Hey Debby! Thanks for stopping by! OMG, I did the same thing once and was so mad at myself.

      If you use your pasta pot, definitely be careful not to overfill the pot…or the stock may boil out between the strainer and the pot and make a huge mess.

      Let me know how it goes!

      +Jessie

  6. This is a fantastic tutorial. I haven’t made stock before. You can’t beat good photos to ease the way. I’m going out now to purchase a pasta pot with strainer, so much easier. I’m so glad I found your post. Thank you, thank you.

    • Thanks so much, Mary! Good luck with it!

      (Definitely be careful not to overfill the pasta pot, or it will boil out between the strainer and pot…most pots have a “fill to here” line marked on them.)

      Let me know how it goes!

      +Jessie

  7. Yesterday I purchased a Pasta Pot. The chicken stock is simmering on my stove at the moment and the aroma is mouth watering. I plan to have some for lunch. Its 11:40am in Sydney Australia

  8. Hi People routinely use carrots in their chicken stock. Try it without them. I find carrots are an overpowering sweet addition to the stock. With regards to the type of chicken or parts used, try a fowl. Frankly there is more fat and more flavor. I also use a whole can of tomato paste, mostly for color. It’s better to roast everything first, but if you dont have the time, using these ingredients, you can just toss in the pot and boil away. Just food for thought….

    • Hey David,

      Thanks for stopping by! Totally agree about the carrots…there’s a time and a place for ’em. Also depends a lot on your palate and what you’re ultimately using the stock for. I have a few other stock recipes, one of which does call for a fowl. This is meant to be a very basic chicken stock.

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  9. I love your technique and photos, this is one of the best sites I have found on how to make chicken stock. You have been bookmarked!re

  10. Thank you for the tips. The few times I’ve tried to make chicken stock before, it always turns out so watery you can barely taste the chicken, so I look forward to trying this out. I did have a question, however. You said to discard the solids. So, assuming one wants to make chicken noodle soup from the stock, would you have to cook a whole new set of chicken parts and vegetables? If so, can they be cooked in the broth, or should they be cooked separately and then added? How long should the soup be cooked? These are probably very elementary questions for an experienced soup maker, but I have never had much luck in my efforts.

    • Hi Tom,

      Sorry for the delayed reply! Been swamped with holiday planning this week.

      You’re exactly right: If you want to make soup, definitely add new veggies. Reason being that the veggies will have given up all their flavor to the stock already. The chicken is your call. I’d say taste it and see what you think when the stock is done. Again, a lot of the flavor will have gone into the stock. It’s really up to you if you think the meat is still worth keeping.

      As for how long to cook the soup, I always just simmer the veggies and chicken right in the broth until they’re cooked through. After all, you’ve already gone through the trouble of making a flavorful stock.

      Let me know how it turns out!

      +Jessie

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