Do-IT-Yourself Chicken Stock
Making your own stock or base always sounds like a daunting task. Since the first time I ever made my own chicken stock, I’ve worked in my circle of friends and family to promote making chicken stock at home. It’s so simple, why wouldn’t you? Now, to set the record straight, I still buy boxed stock. I have my favorite, and I usually use it when I run out and need it in an emergency, or to mix with my own when I’m using it in multiple recipes.
What’s the benefit to making your own? Well, pretty much the same as anything else you could make from scratch. First and foremost you can determine exactly what goes into it. You feel good about using it and not worrying about the sodium or fat content, because you’re controlling it. You can add as much or as little flavor as you want to! Not that any of your stock would lack in flavor, but say you’re an onion fan, a garlic fan, a mushroom fan… whatever the case may be you can give your stock that flavor. You can make it for specific recipes, too. Probably one of my favorite things about homemade stock is that it cleans out your veggie drawer. Hahaha. Oh, the possibilities. The next question, how do I make this Oh So Simple, Oh So Satisfying chicken stock? Here’s how I did it.
- 1- 3-4 LB Chicken, innards removed
- 6 to 8 C Water
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Celery stalks, with leaves
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 1 White or Yellow Onion
- 5 Button Mushrooms
- 1 TBSP Peppercorns
- ** You can add as much or as little of any of these as you like. For this particular batch, I also added a couple parsnips. Mostly because I had a bag of them that needed used.
Now, I know it seems like a lot of water, but I prefer to begin with a ton of water for 2 reasons. 1, it’ll cook down and you can cook it longer to get the most out of all the flavors you’re using. 2, It’ll cook the chicken, and when you’re finished, you’ll have a fully cooked chicken when all is said and done.
- Rinse chicken, remove any innards (heart, neck, liver, etc). Place in a deep stock pot and add water. I like to add enough water that it almost covers the chicken, but not quite. Once you add the veggies, the water will rise.
- Add veggies. You don’t have to peel anything as long as it’s clean. I still peel my onions, carrots and parsnips if they’re really dirty. otherwise, a rinse is fine. Just cut them in halves or quarters and toss them in the pot with the chicken.
- Boil for about 2 hours. Once it’s finished, you will notice it is the color of regular chicken broth. Taste it. It should have a rich chicken flavor.
- Strain the chicken and veggies into a bowl.
- A lot of people let the stock cool. Then, they scrape off the fat layer from the top. I just put the whole thing in the fridge in a container. The next day, the fat will have risen to the top and hardened. It’s easier to remove this way in my opinion. You can now put it in the freezer for up to a month, or back into the fridge for up to a week.
- Discard the veggies or use them in a soup. They’re full of flavor and perfect for blending. As for the chicken, it will fall right off the bone. Use it in a soup, sandwich, or try my shredded BBQ Chicken Nachos recipe.