Jan 8, 2011

Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock!

I think I have the easiest recipe yet to share: homemade chicken stock! If you can chop, pour and drop things into a large pot, you have all the skills needed to make chicken stock! This is truly comfort in a pot and a perfect thing to make large batches of on the weekend and have plenty to last you throughout the week. We did the math on this and you completely save money by making the chicken stock yourself. The best thing is to buy your whole chicken for a roasted/baked chicken dish where you eat the meat as a main dish and then save any leftovers and most importantly the carcass. You can use all this and combine it with water, herbs and vegetables and you’ve turned leftovers into delicious chicken stock. You get two for the price of one, you save money and food really does taste better with homemade chicken stock!

Here’s everything you need to bring your chicken stock together:


(Adapted from Ina Garten. Makes about 2 quarts of chicken stock.)

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 parsnips
  • ~ 6 cloves garlic
  • 8 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill
  • 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

The prep time for this will take about 5 minutes. Wash your celery, carrots parsnips, and herbs and then half each vegetable. Cut the onion in quarters and remove the cloves of garlic but don’t even worry about removing the peeling. The same goes for the onion! Makes things that much easier!

All the vegetable sand herbs for the chicken stock.

In a large stock pot, add the vegetables and chicken and then pour in about 3 quarts of water. Everything should be covered. Last in to the pot are your herbs, salt and pepper.

All vegetables, herbs and chicken in stock pot coming together to make the chicken stock.

Bring everything to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, for about 2 hours. If you are making a larger batch, it will take longer. The mixture will smell delicious but when you take a look everything will look limp and a little dreary. No worries though! It’s the actual liquid in this mixture that is quite lively and fragrant! Once it is done, pour everything through a thin strainer. You should do this over a large bowl so you can save the stock and can just throw away the solids. Every bit of flavor has been extracted from your vegetables, herbs and chicken and there is unfortunately nothing left that those components can give us for another meal. So to the trash they go.

Store your stock in secure plastic containers and it’s best if you keep the stock in the fridge overnight and then in the morning you can remove the layer of fat that is going to form on top. Keep some stock in the fridge for immediate use and then store the remaining in the freezer for a later date! You can actually save it in the freezer for up to 3 months!

The first time Jordan and I put this together, we immediately asked ourselves why hadn’t we been doing this all along! You throw everything in a pot and your job is done. For the two hours that it simmers, you are free to relax with a book on the couch while your home fills with the aromas of home comfort! That’s the best kind of cooking! You can use the stock in your soups, as a replacement for the water that cooks your rice, couscous or orzo, or in side dishes like the sausage herb stuffing I just shared. Chicken stock is called for in a variety of recipes to add a more flavor to a dish than just water and it really can make a difference when you use homemade. We certainly use the stock from the store but after making our own, I can now honestly say you can taste the difference! Try it and you’ll become a fan; I’m sure of it! For now, that’s homemade chicken stock…in the shell of a nut!

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