homemade chicken stock

14 | February 19, 2011

I’ve only started to make my own chicken stock here recently and once I started there was no turning back! It’s like the first time you have a good wine and from then on you refuse to drink anything else. “Screw the box wine tonight boys, I’m hitting the Chateau Mouton-Rothschild!” (Not that I’ve had that mind you, but you get my point) Seriously, if you haven’t tried it, it is one of the easiest and most rewarding recipes to do. And with the cold and flu season upon us in full attack what better way to heal a stuffy nose than with real, velvety, homemade chicken soup made with homemade stock like your grandmother or great-grandma used to make.

Homemade Chicken Stock makes 12 cups

  • 1 whole chicken, around 5 pounds
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbs whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • water

Peel the carrots and chop in half along with the celery.

Quarter the onion.

Peel the garlic and leave whole. Actually, you don’t even have to peel them becasue you are going to strain it anyway!

Place the chicken (without the giblets) in the bottom of an 8 quart pot. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley (sometimes I use fresh thyme as well), and bay leaf to the pot.

Fill the pot with water until it covers the chicken over about 1 inch.

Add salt.

Add peppercorns. And if you don’t have peppercorns, 1/2 tablespoon ground pepper will work too but it will show in the stock. If you don’t care about that then by all means throw the ground pepper in there.

It’s just so purddy (that’s how we say pretty in Texas)! Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to low to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. With a spoon, skim off any fat or oil that comes to the surface during this time.

Remove the chicken from the pot and remove the meat from the bones. Place the meat in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for future use. Return the bones to the pot adding water to cover the bones if necessary and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes.

Once finished, strain the stock from the bones and vegetables. Reserve the stock and discard the bones and vegetables.

And there you go. The most luxurious, rich and smooth stock ever.  Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Use the stock for soups, to cook rice and pastas in, or sauces. This is one of those “slap your mama” it’s so good tricks to cooking.



  • Lauren c

    It’s something so simple but I’ve never done it! You’ve made me want to try!

  • Katy

    This looks devine! I’m going to make some. I did once and it came out like water. Thanks for the post.

  • Katy

    Beautiful photography!

  • Erin longoria

    I love to make my own stock! It’s so much better than a box or can it’s ridiculous! I don’t put garlic in mine. I will try it next time. Like this post

  • Mark

    The shot of the stock pouring into the bowl is fab. Made your pancakes again today!

  • Eileen

    Great photo’s! I love having homemade chicken stock on hand.

  • Cindy

    I’ve been experimenting with making stock in my crock pot lately. Only problem is that when I do it over night I usually wake up around 3 am to a wierd smell that I can’t place. So I’ve taken to doing it during the day. Usually I roast a bird for dinner. Then I save the carcass and pair it with discarded vegetable bits that would normally be headed for the trash/compost but I’ve set aside in the freezer instead.

    Even with all this trouble, I think I’ve only made it properly once. I think I add too much water. My mother-in-law uses less water than me and cooks it until it gels – even if it takes forever. I’m used to the kind out of a box or can though so I’m perfectly happy with my watered down version. Yours looks fantastic!

    How’s that for the longest comment ever!?

  • Barbara

    Take it from a good old,(78), cook. It is wonderful to start with fresh ingredients as you have here. However, I have made chicken stock for over50 years, and a frugal cook would save all the vegetable trimmings from regular meals; onion skins and peelings, carrot parings, and other such trimmings. You have a wonderful stock and save on top of it al!

    • In Sock Monkey Slippers

      You are more than welcome to do what you like to do with the spent bones and vegetables. Please don’t feel that you have to take the word discard litterally. I personally find the spent bones, herbs and vegetables to lose their flavor and nutritional value and put them in my compost pile. I do reuse the carrots for soups or as a treat for my dog. I have tried re-using the bones for broth but have found it to be quite tasteless. I have also heard of grinding up cartilage for dog bones. What you would like to do with the leftovers is completely up to you and I think it is absolutely wonderful that you make your own stock! Isn’t it ten times better than in a can.

  • Laura

    I have been making this for years and I won’t go back to boxed stock ever again! I use the same staples in mine, except I add fresh dill and fresh thyme!

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