Making your own chicken stock is surprisingly easy, and it’s a great way to stretch meals and eliminate waste; all you need are leftover chicken bones and this easy recipe. Chicken stock from the store from the store will never taste quite the same once you’ve tried this homemade stock.
Making Chicken Stock
1. Gather the following ingredients:
- 2 to 3 pounds of meaty chicken bones
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 12 peppercorns
2. Prepare the herbs and spices. Place your spices in a square of cheesecloth and tie closed with string. The tiny holes in the fabric allow the flavor to escape, but the bits of spices won’t be floating in your broth.
3. Prepare the vegetables. Clean and chop all vegetables.
4. Combine and simmer ingredients. Place the vegetables and the chicken in a large pot. Add enough water so everything is covered. Add your sachet of spices. Put the whole pot on the stove on medium heat and watch it closely. While you’re making chicken stock, you don’t want the water to come to a hard boil. Wait until the soup stock just begins to boil, and reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Cover the pot.
…and simmer some more. Making chicken stock can be a slow process. You’ll need to let the soup stock simmer for three to four hours in this recipe. Chicken stock made in this way has a wonderfully complex, deep flavor.
5. Strain. After cooking, remove your spice sachet. Use a fine mesh strainer, and strain your chicken stock into another bowl. No bones or vegetables should be in your chicken stock. Instead, you’ll have a clear, amber-colored stock that’s the perfect starter for chicken soup, chicken gravy and chicken rice dishes.
Storing Chicken Stock
This recipe makes about three quarts of stock. This is likely much more stock than you’ll need to make something like chicken soup. You can store chicken stock in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you think you’ll wait much longer than a week before you make chicken soup or something else requiring stock, it’s best to freeze the excess. Place the extra stock in freezer-safe containers and put them in the coldest part of your freezer.