Homemade chicken stock is so much better than boxed or canned. First, note there is a difference between stock and broth. Broth is usually made just from meat, and tends to be a lighter color. Stock is made from bones, has a darker color , feels thicker because of the collagen that breaks down from the bones, and more flavor than broth. In either case, homemade has no preservatives, or added chemicals, and, best of all, is nearly free to make.
Although many recipes will tell you to roast or boil a chicken/chicken parts to make broth, I use leftovers. I am reusing something I would have thrown away, and getting a few quarts of stock before I discard the bones is a frugal move.
I don’t have a specific recipe, and it varies depending on what i have in the fridge and pantry. This time around I had about 8 chicken wing bone scraps to use for 3 quarts of stock. Just imagine how much stock a turkey carcass could make!
Here’s the basics. Season the stock however you like – salt (or not), peppercorns, poultry seasoning, sage, bay leaves, etc.
Homemade Chicken Stock
I use bones from carcasses or chicken parts for the base of a pot of stock.
- 1-2 pounds chicken bones, or carcass
- 1 onion, skin on, quartered
- stems from kale or swiss chard
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed, and the skins can be on or off
- 3-4 mushrooms, halved or quartered or sliced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- any other left over veggies you might have
Put the chicken bones on a sheet pan (sprayed with cooking spray) and roast at 400F for about 30 minutes, until the bones have some color
Add water to your stock pot - I use about 3 quarts. Drop in the roasted bones.
Add in the veggies. I tend to use up whatever is in my fridge that looks like it needs to be used, in addition to the above list. Or you can save up a bag of trimmings in the freezer, then throw it all in.
Bring to a simmer, and let it cook for at least an hour. Add more water if it cooks down. Skim off any foam that might form on top.
Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the bones, and chunks of vegetables. Alternatively drain into a cheesecloth lined colander over a large bowl. If any sediment is in the bottom of the pot, stop pouring when you get to it.
Cool slightly and put in quart containers. If you will use within a day or two the fridge is fine, otherwise pop in the freezer for future use.
It’s important to take the time to roast the bones. This will help develop the beautiful color of the stock, and will add flavor. Likewise with the onion skin, it helps add color to the stock. Since we feast with our eyes first, a wonderful color will make the stock seem better.
I like to freeze in either glass quart containers (leave room for expansion) or in plastic food grade containers. If you wanted, it could be frozen in smaller amounts, and even as ice cubes when you only need a couple tablespoons of stock.
it is important to note, don’t boil the bones and veggies on high. The harder the parts boil, the cloudier the stock will become. I like to have a nice golden clear stock.
What kind of stock do you make, and how?
What is your favorite use for stock, beside as a soup base?