Basics: Chicken Stock

Making your own chicken stock is incredibly easy. Now I am kicking myself for not making it for all these years. But in the last month I have made two batches, basically for free. And it is thick and rich and doesn’t contain any unneccessary additives. For example, the brand I used before contained “chicken flavor” (what the heck does that mean, anyway?) and honey (why does this need sweetening?). The brands with salt have a ridiculous amount — 15 to 20 percent of your daily recommended amount of sodium per cup. Yikes! Some brands contain MSG or weird preservatives. And they are still expensive. Why pay $3 a carton when I can make twice as much with scraps I was going to throw away anyway?

So now I am a convert. Please try this just once, I promise you too will change your thinking!

You need:

  • 1 chicken  carcass or about a pound of scraps (I have seen this for sale at the grocery store, usually in a package of necks & backs. This will be dirt cheap.)
  • vegetable scraps (onion ends, parsley stems, dried out baby carrots, mushroom stems, peels, cores, whatever. I save mine up as I go in a zip-top bag in the freezer.)
  • water
  1. Put everything in a pot. Use enough water to cover everything.
  2. Simmer, lid on, for at least 3 hours. You can go as long as you want, until the bones dissolve if you so desire (this is probably a little extreme). Add water as necessary to keep everything submerged.
  3. Strain out the solids. Chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in small batches. Skim/scrape off any solidified fat if desired.

My favorite method is to cook a chicken in the crock pot, then make stock in the crock pot overnight on low. Couldn’t be simpler!

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3 comments

  1. You are right, making your own stock is easy and you cannot beat the flavor. We order our chicken from a local organic farmer, we use the carcass from the roasting hens to produce a rich thick stock which then I freeze and use as needed.

  2. […] And of course, don’t forget to make stock. […]

  3. […] cups beef or chicken stock,* or […]

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