The Basics of Homemade Chicken Stock
Homemade chicken stock is easy to prepare and the results are guaranteed to be more flavorful and better for than store-bought.
There are two basic types of stock, white and brown. White stock is made by simmering the chicken with some aromatic vegetables and herbs in water.
For a brown stock, the chicken and vegetables are roasted in the oven before simmering to add extra depth of flavor.
We prefer a brown stock for most applications, so we've assembled a few basic instructions that are sure to yield great tasting results every time.
The first thing you will need are some meaty chicken parts. Assemble about 4 pounds of backs, necks, wings, thighs and drumsticks and place them in a large roasting pan along with:
- 2 or 3 carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 or 3 stalks of celery, leaves attached
- 1 medium yellow onion, quartered (unpeeled)
- 1 core from a small head of cabbage
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, smashed (unpeeled)
Season the mix with salt and pepper and roast at 450 °F until well browned ~ about 40 minutes.
Transfer the bones, veggies and all of the accumulated drippings and browned bits to a large Dutch oven. Cover the ingredients with water ~ 8 to 10 cups should do it. Be careful not to add too much water or your stock will be weak.
Add 10 whole peppercorns, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 bay leaf and 4 sprigs each of fresh parsley and thyme. Bring to a rapid simmer and skim off any of the froth that rises to the surface over the first 10 minutes or so. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer slowly for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Remove the solids from the pot and strain the stock through a cheesecloth lined colander or fine-mesh strainer. If you plan to use the stock while hot, skim the fat from the top using a large spoon, otherwise, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
Once chilled, the fat will solidify on the top and can be easily discarded. Chicken stock can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.