I’ve passed up a lot of recipes over the years that required chicken stock. For me it was that ‘red flag’ ingredient simply because I didn’t have access to chicken stock…homemade chicken stock that is. I was never a fan of using bouillon cubes because of its MSG content and salty flavor, and making homemade chicken stock just sounded way too complicated.
Feeling the limitations of cooking up some delicious soup, sauces and even rice and risotto I decided to finally try making my very own chicken stock. I’m happy to say I DID IT and I am happier to say IT WAS EASY!
I think I know my initial obstacle with homemade chicken stock wasn’t the actual time it took to make it but rather getting my hands on carcass (chicken scraps). That was just something I really didn’t want to attempt.
I have since learned though that you can make homemade chicken stock using just about any part of the chicken that is stocked (no pun intended) at your local grocer or butcher. Drumsticks, wings, thighs, and even a whole chicken can all be used to make a rich and fresh-tasting chicken stock. If you dare by all means use as much poultry carcass as you can. The more joints you use the better, keeping in mind that the neck and backbones are gold.
Chicken stock freezes incredibly well too so save some time by doubling the recipe. You can freeze chicken stock for up to 3 months, or keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. I store my chicken stock in various sized airtight containers because the amount of chicken stock needed varies between recipes (and you definitely don’t want to waste any of your homemade chicken stock). I even freeze some stock in ice cube trays for those recipes that require just a tablespoon or so of chicken stock.
Making chicken stock is very versatile, meaning there is no need to carefully measure each and every ingredient, nor limit the ingredients you add or leave out. You can use my recipe as a guide, and then over time develop your own recipe that works best for you.
You may want to know that since chicken contains a lot of collagen it will cause the stock to become gelatin-like in texture when cooled. This is actually a good sign that you made a great pot of chicken stock filled with collagen, iron and vitamin-rich marrow from the bones. And if you didn’t know already, collagen promotes healthy skin, hair and nails as well as protects your joints. That right there is all the more reason to make your very own homemade chicken stock.
Homemade Chicken Stock
Homemade chicken stock is healthier, tastier and saves you money. Best of all it is super easy.
- 3-4 lb (approx. 1.5kg) raw chicken (you can use any part of the chicken: wings, legs, back, thighs, neck...even feet!)
- 3 onions
- 3 celery stalks
- 3 carrots
- 15g (7-8 sprigs) fresh parsley
- 15g (7-8 sprigs) fresh thyme
- 15g (7-8 sprigs) fresh rosemary
- Step 1 Place all your chicken parts in a very large stockpot. Fill the pot with cold water until it just covers all the chicken. Drain and repeat 5-6 more times. The water should appear more clear each time.
- Step 2 Prepare the vegetables. Peel onions and slice in half. Clean celery and slice in half or thirds. Peel carrots and slice in half or thirds. Then add all the vegetables into the pot.
- Step 3 Add in all the herbs into the pot.
- Step 4 Add enough cold water to the pot just until it covers all the ingredients.
- Step 5 Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Step 6 After 5 minutes of boil reduce the heat to as low as possible and let it simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours (or up to 6 hours). In the first hour skim off the foam that rises to the surface. The water will evaporate a bit so make sure there is always enough water covering the chicken.
- Step 7 Strain through a sieve or strainer lined with a cheesecloth. Discard the remains because it’s not good anymore at this point. All the nutritional value has just been cooked away.
- Step 8 Let cool at room temperature. Remove any hardened fat from the surface and discard it.
- Step 9 Cover and refrigerate the stock for up to 3 days. Alternatively you can pour into airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months.