If you’ve been reading this little blog for a while you probably figured out that I like to make things from scratch. A lot. There are benefits and drawbacks to doing this, though. The good thing is that you know exactly what goes into what you’re making, it (usually) tastes better and costs less than its store-bought counterpart, and (for me at least), it’s fun to see ingredients come together in something that you wouldn’t think of making at home — like homemade chicken stock.
The drawbacks? Once you fall in love with something that you make from scratch it’s awfully hard to go back to the store-bought version. Yes, it obviously takes more time, and it’s especially aggravating when you run out of multiple things at the same time. That happens to me a lot.
Recently I’ve been making homemade chicken stock and have loved the results! It’s a great way to get more out of leftover chicken bones (especially whole chickens which I’ve fallen in love with this past year). And the “recipe” I added below is simply a set of guidelines to get you started. As long as you’ve got an onion, a couple of carrots, and some celery you’re set. Fresh herbs are a nice addition, too, but if you’re buying fresh herbs for the sole purpose of making stock, then homemade stock may not be a cheaper option. It’ll definitely taste better and have considerably less sodium, though. If you’ve got an herb garden or know friends who have herbs, it’ll save you a lot of money.
Easy Homemade Chicken Stock
Yield: 3-4 quarts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 hours
Total Time: 18 hours5 minutes
It's so easy to make your own chicken stock! Save those bones and get the most out of your roast chickens.
1 meaty carcass from a 2-4 pound chicken (probably doesn't weigh that much anymore)
1 onion, quartered
2-3 stalks of celery, cut into large pieces
2-3 carrots, cut into large pieces
a large handful of fresh herbs (I like thyme, sage, parsley, and rosemary) or 1-2 Tablespoons dried
about 10 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 peeled garlic cloves (optional)
Place all ingredients into a very large stockpot and fill with water up to an inch or two from the top of the pot. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer on low for 4-6 hours.
Remove from heat and strain. I usually fish the big pieces out with a ladel, discard them, then pour the rest of the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a 4 qt bowl.
Let it cool to room temperature, then cover and chill thoroughly (like overnight). Skim fat from the top of the bowl, then transfer broth to containers for storage. It'll keep in the fridge for about a week. You can use mason jars, large empty yogurt containers or freezer-safe zipper bags for storage in the freezer.