Chicken stock is essential to everyday cooking, especially if you’re interested in making gravy, sauces or soups. It’s pretty simple to make and incredibly delicious if made from scratch.
So, what’s the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth? Stock is cultivated by boiling the carcass of the chicken with some meat still clinging to the bones and connective tissue, along with veggies and spices. Broth is simply boiling the meat with veggies and spices. Both are boiled for long periods of time, but chicken stock tends to be much hardier than broth. This is due to the gelatin, connective tissue and bone marrow you find in the bones. Broth is much more substantial, thicker, more flavorful and generally more nutritious.
How do you go about making stock? The process really isn’t too difficult. Whenever I end up with a bird carcass from thanksgiving dinner, or a random rotisserie chicken night, I throw the bird in a large pot with some vegetables, herbs and peppercorns and let it simmer overnight. The result is delicious broth, perfect for gravy bases, soup basis or added flavor to rice or couscous. It’s also an excellent way of using leftovers your average suburban mom would throw away.
Depending on the amount of birdage you have going on, will obviously dictate how much broth you can make I put my broth in large mason jars and refrigerate for immediate use, or, I stick them into the freezer to use at a later time. Just make sure to provide enough room in the jar for expansion. Another option is to pressure can your stock. Not everyone is comfortable with pressure canning, but it’s a great option if you want to preserve for longer.
What you’ll need:
- Chicken carcass (I used the leftovers from a rotisserie chicken)
- One Onion, chopped in large pieces (If you leave the skin on, it adds extra flavor)
- Carrots (I usually just throw in whatever I have leftover from when I made a stew or something – 3 or 4 chopped in large pieces)
- Celery (make sure to add the leafy part for extra vitamins – at least 2 stalks)
- Now for the herbs: parsley, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves (fresh is best, but dried is fine too)
- Black peppercorn
Place chicken carcass into the pot, add veggies, herbs and peppercorn. Cover with water and simmer on low to medium heat for at a minimum of 4 hours. I usually simmer overnight as I feel the longer it boils, the more flavorful the broth gets. However, make sure it’s on low enough that it won’t scald.
Next you’ll need to drain the broth and remove all the veggies and bones. I just use the same strainer I would for pasta. I make sure to strain it into a glass mixing bowl with a pourable lip. I then pour over cheesecloth into separate mason jars. This removes any small leaves, peppercorns, pieces of meat or anything else!
Do with the leftovers as you will. Most people will throw it away, but if you have chickens or pigs, go ahead and give it to them. Or, throw the veggies into the composter!
Once drained, place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning skim off any fat or herbs that have accumulated at the top overnight.
Store in mason jars in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.
The result is absolutely beautiful and incredibly tasty chicken broth. Enjoy!
Homemade Chicken Stock
Simple and delicious, this homemade chicken stock recipe can be made overnight and used for gravies, soup and sauces.
- 1 Chicken carcass
- 1 Onion Cut in fourths
- 3 Carrots Cut in half
- 3 Celery stalks Cut in fourths with leaves attached
- 4 Sprigs of Fresh Parsley (or 2 tbsp dried)
- 2 Sprigs Rosemary (or 1 tbsp dried)
- 2 Sprigs Thyme (or 1 tbsp dried)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Black peppercorns
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 8-10 Cupe Water Or until all contents are submerged
Place chicken carcass in a large pot.
Chop in large pieces: onions, carrots and celery. Add to pot.
Add to the pot parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, garlic, peppercorn and bay leaves.
Submerge all contents in water. (About 8-10 cups of water) and turn stove on high.
Once boiling lower to simmer and allow to simmer overnight. (About 8 hours)
Once simmer is done, drain into a large mixing bowl with a pouring lip on rim. Throw away or compost veggies and bones. Cover stock and refrigerate for 5 hours.
Skim off all fat and herbs that have accumulated overnight with a spoon.
Strain stock through a cheesecloth into mason jars to get rid of any small leaves and anything else.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 6 months.