How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

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How to make Homemade Chicken Stock

How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

Chicken stock is one of those almost ubiquitous ingredients that efficient home cooks keep in stock (pardon my homonym). Smart cooks buy it by the box-full and store it on their pantry shelves, to have some handy when they need it. But smarter cooks store it in their freezer. And why would they do that? Because they make their OWN homemade chicken stock, themselves, silly goose. (Uh oh. A fowl pun. Poultry pun alert. You have been warned. Read no further, unless you enjoy playing chicken.)

“But I don’t know HOW,” you cluck. (That WAS you clucking, wasn’t it?)

Say no more, my little chickadee, because Susan in the Boonies is gonna show you how to make your very own homemade chicken stock. And honest to goodness? It couldn’t be easier! And, it’s cheaper than shelling out three bucks a box for the store bought stuff. And BONUS: your meals are going to taste so much BETTER, once you start using your own homemade chicken stock.

(I recently made a pot of Lentil Soup with Kielbasa with store bought stock and I could not believe how inferior the flavor was to my normal pot of lentil soup. Seriously! There was that much of a difference!)

I haven’t posted my recipe before because, and I hate to say this: chicken stock looks a lot like dishwater. Even homemade chicken stock looks kind of unappetizing. But homemade chicken stock tastes SO good, and makes such a difference in the dishes I cook. And it’s so easy to make. I knew I really, really NEEDED to share the procedure with you!  So the challenge has been to make an appetizing photo. I think we’ve finally arrived at shooting some nice ones.

(PUN ALERT: Here’s hoping we haven’t laid a photographic egg. Did that crack you up? Because there’s nothing like a good yolk. And that was NOTHING LIKE a good yolk. All these poultry puns are scrambling my brain. Omelette up in a minute, when I can’t think of anymore, due to my brain being fried. At which point, I’ll just poach some puns from some other chick. Unless you want to hen one over easy. STOP EGGING ME ON!!! I mean it!)

I have several recipes for soup on this blog (Lentil Soup with Kielbasa, Slow Cooker Tortilla SoupWhite Turkey Chili, and Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings,) with which I use my own homemade chicken stock. Since I’ve been promising for a while that I’d post my recipe, in case you don’t have your own,  it’s high time I make good on that promise. There’s really nothing to it, as long as you’ve saved a chicken carcass or two from the last couple of chickens that you cooked. I also save/freeze the little bags of giblets/innards (heart, liver and gizzard and neck)  that come with most chickens that you  roast: no sense in wasting all that flavor.

 Making your own stock is a great way to get the most value out of the chicken that you buy, too. It’s ALMOST like free chicken broth, because after I roast a chicken, I take the carcass, and dump it in a ziplock bag and stick it in the freezer. Then, when I have the celery on hand (not something I necessarily buy regularly), and a few hours at home (which is nearly any day), I can get a pot of stock going, and the whole house smells like Thanksgiving.

I use what I need for the dish that I’m making that day, and freeze any leftovers, to have on hand for the next time I need chicken broth. It is so great to know that you have a delicious and wholesome basic recipe component on hand, waiting in the wings (as it were), for whenever you need it. And, you know exactly what ingredients are in YOUR chicken stock,  (no MSG, for instance) because you made it yourself!

If you want to kick YOUR cooking up a notch? Homemade chicken stock is a wonderfully easy way to do it. The recipe I use comes from the yellow Gourmet cookbook. I’ve adapted/changed their recipe for my own use, because I use the carcasses of a couple of chickens, and their giblets. I don’t go buy a whole fresh chicken just to make stock.
NOTE:  It is fine to begin making this recipe with two frozen carcasses: no need to thaw them.

The Recipe for How To Make Homemade Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock
An easy to make chicken stock that will save you money at the grocery store, and VASTLY improve the flavor of your homemade dishes.
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  1. 2 chicken carcasses, plus their giblets
  2. 4 quarts cold water
  3. 2 onions, unpeeled, and halved
  4. 2 whole cloves
  5. 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  6. 1 celery rib, halved
  7. 2 carrots, halved
  8. 1 t. salt
  9. 6 long fresh sprigs of parsley
  10. 8 black peppercorns
  11. 1 bay leaf
  1. Put chicken carcasses and giblets into a large stockpot, add remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Skim froth. Simmer for 3 hours, skimming froth whenever necessary.
  2. Strain stock through a colander, into a large bowl, and discard solids. If you have time, refrigerate stock a few hours, and you can skim the fat off the top.
Adapted from Gourmet Cookbook
Adapted from Gourmet Cookbook
That Susan Williams
Mise en place: which is, being interpreted, everything ready to rock and roll!
Everybody in the hot tub!
Just add water!

Please share this basic, but oh, so important recipe on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. If you haven’t tried making your own chicken stock before, this is a Must Do. You will be so glad!

If you do make your own, how do our ingredient lists differ?

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  1. Awesome post, I am going to give a go tonight!

  2. Finally about to make the stock, weeks after asking about it. One question though – how many soup portions does this stock provide a base for? Just wanting to know how to freeze it in portions. If you see what I mean, which you might not as I am a little incoherent this morning.

  3. Thanks Susan, it does, actually making it today!

  4. I also make my own and my ingredients are quite similar except I don't like cloves, so I don't use them and I don't use parsley. I use more celery, usually about six sticks cut I half or thirds tofit in the pan and at least 6 carrot halves or thirds.

    It really does beat the store bought, although I always keep a box or two of the organic in my on try for emergencies!

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  5. Linda Kinsman says

    I made my own chicken stock last just last night for Chicken and dumplings. I didn't have chicken carcasses this time though. I used thighs and breasts which didn't render as much goodness, but still was tasty!
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  6. I was thinking with all of those fowl puns you have been hanging around my coop too much.

  7. This is an excellent recipe. I made it today.

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