How do I Make Chicken Stock?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Chicken stock is a very useful cooking ingredient to have around the house. It is also extraordinarily easy to make. Cooks can make a large batch and freeze it so that chicken stock is always readily available when called for. In addition for use in soups, chicken stock also appears in a recipes from all over the world. You can also adjust your recipe to suit your needs, by introducing a wide variety of flavors to your chicken stock.

Chicken stock is commonly used in chicken soup.
Chicken stock is commonly used in chicken soup.

There are two basic recipes for chicken stock. These recipes can be used for any type of fowl, such as turkey, duck, or goose as well. The most basic calls for the leftover bones and meat from a cooked bird. This recipe is a great way to use all the parts of the bird, although it does require a longer cooking time. Others use fresh ingredients and either roast or braise them for flavor first.

It's important to use a large stockpot when making chicken stock.
It's important to use a large stockpot when making chicken stock.

To make chicken stock from the bones of a cooked bird, start by cooking carrots, celery, and onions in a large stock pot, using a small amount of oil with salt and pepper to taste. Once the vegetables have started to caramelize, add the bones of the chicken. Cover in cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the stove down so that it simmers, uncovered, for at least four hours. You will need to skim the chicken stock occasionally to remove foam from the surface.

Celery is a fundamental ingredient of the vegetable base in chicken stock.
Celery is a fundamental ingredient of the vegetable base in chicken stock.

After simmering, strain the chicken stock to remove the bones and vegetables. If you would like a more robust stock, simmer the chicken stock for a few more hours to reduce it before putting it away for storage. The chicken stock can be frozen or kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. As the chicken stock rests in the fridge, a layer of fat will form on the top. Leave the layer of fat on the stock, dipping underneath it for chicken stock when you need it.

To make chicken stock with fresh ingredients, loosely chop chicken backs, breasts, and legs into chunks. Saute vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onions in a stock pot with salt and pepper before adding the chicken pieces and browning for 20 minutes. You can also roast the vegetables and chicken together in the oven before adding them to a stockpot. Cover the chicken and vegetable mixture in boiling water and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Strain the chicken stock and refrigerate or freeze it for future use.

A chicken stock should be drained of fat, vegetables and bones before use.
A chicken stock should be drained of fat, vegetables and bones before use.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

bagley79

One tip I use when making chicken stock is to pour the stock in empty ice cube trays and freeze it. This way none of it goes to waste and you just use as many cubes as you need for what your recipe calls for.

These will stay good in the freezer for up to 6 months and you know you have fresh stock on hand when you want to make a pot of homemade soup. This is much better than a chicken stock bouillon cube and better for you as well.

andee

Most people are familiar with the basic chicken stock recipe, but there are several variations you can make with it depending on what you are using it for.

I recently made some Thai Chicken Stock which turned out to be very good. Instead of the usual vegetables I used some scallions, ginger and lemongrass. The texture was similar to traditional chicken broth, but the flavor was surprisingly good.

John57

I have never made my own chicken stock. I used to buy the cans of stock or use a bouillon cube, but once I began using the stock in a box that has become my favorite.

The nice thing about it is you can use as much or little as you need and keep the rest in the refrigerator until you need more. It probably doesn't taste as good as homemade chicken stock, but works great when you are in a hurry.

You can also buy organic chicken stock in a box which is what I usually do if it is available.

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