You Should Be Making Your Own Chicken Stock

stock pot

No really, you should.

I know. I too watched years of Food Network chefs preaching the virtues of homemade stock and assumed it was an unabashed waste of time. But then Thanksgiving rolled around last year and I felt bad not doing something with the massive pile of turkey bones I’d accumulated and, well, stock happened. And it was amazing.

The depth of flavor and richness you get from homemade stock can’t even be compared to store bought stuff, even the expensive brands. And guys, it’s so easy. You only need a handful of ingredients, a large pot, and a willingness to hole up in your house for four hours. My excuse typically involves a marathon of house flipping shows but be your own boss here.

Keeping this stuff around makes it SO much easier to prepare tastier rice, better sauces, and soups! Oh, the soups. Thank me later.

makes about 10-14 cups of stock


Any number of poultry bones (2 rotisserie chicken carcasses, 5-6 whole breast bones, etc. – if you have less, just cut the rest of the ingredients, too)
1 whole onion, chopped into quarters, peel on
3 carrots, chopped roughly, peel on
3 celery stalks, chopped roughly
3 cloves whole garlic, peeled but not chopped
1 tbsp. salt, preferably kosher
1 tsp. pepper
approximately 8 cups of water
4 sprigs thyme (optional)
handful of parsley (optional)

stock1. Put all the ingredients into the largest cooking pot you have. Cover with water up to about 1″ from the top of the pot. It’s not really important to measure the water unless you’re lacking some of the other ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce to a just-bubbling simmer (my stove is 1-10 and I set it on 3) for 2 hours, uncovered.

2. After 2 hours check the pot and give everything a good poke with a wooden spoon. Replenish the water up to the 1″ mark and allow to simmer for about 2 hours more. When finished, remove from the stove and let cool completely.

freeze!3. Place a large colander over a very large bowl (if you have someone to help it’s useful at this point.) Pour the pot’s ingredients into the colander and strain into the bowl. Allow the bowl to sit for an hour or so until the fat from the stock rises to the top. Use a large spoon to discard the fat for healthier stock, or leave it in if you prefer. Divide the stock into baggies and lay flat in the freezer to freeze.

***Notes: Stock freezes beautifully for months (I use Ziploc bags instead of Tupperware to save space) and I like to measure mine into 2 cup portions before they go into the labeled bags. It’s forgiving, too, so if you’re missing an ingredient don’t sweat it in the least.
And turkey stock tastes just like chicken stock, FYI. Go figure.


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