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.
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.
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.
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
1 bay leaf
freshly cracked black pepper
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.
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.
Drizzle with a little olive oil.
Toss to coat.
Spread the chicken out on the second pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat.
Pop both pans into your preheated 425 degree oven.
Roast for about an hour, until the chicken and veggies are nicely browned.
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.
Be sure to get all that juice and those brown bits.
Toss in a handful of fresh parsley if you have it on hand.
Toss the chicken into the pot with the veggies.
Again, scrape in all the juice and brown bits.
Fill the pot about 3/4 of the way full with cold water.
Give it a stir.
Toss in a little kosher salt.
Drop in a fresh bay leaf.
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.
When it’s been simmering for a few minutes, skim some of the fat off the surface and discard.
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: Strain the stock
When the stock is ready, strain the solids out of it.
Discard the solids. (They’ll pretty much have given up all their goodness and flavor to the stock.)
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.
Ladle the stock through the cloth into the bowl.
Repeat until you’ve strained all the stock.
You should wind up with a bunch of gunk in the strainer:
And a bunch of beautiful stock in the bowl:
You probably strained most of the fat off when it was simmering, but if you didn’t, skim most of the rest off now.
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: 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.