I try to keep the staples on hand at any given time – especially in winter. These consists of organic onions, carrots, celery, garlic and of course, homemade chicken stock! We eat a LOT of soup this time of year and as long as you have these few items, you can pretty much make any soup imaginable!
To make homemade chicken stock, I use a whole free range chicken from one of the local farms (I usually have more than a couple in the freezer at any given time!). I stock up when they go on sale (most often $1.99 a pound) and for that price, you can’t beat it! I don’t even know if you can get an
inhumanely raised regular chicken for that price!
Another option is to use some meaty bones – however, I like to get more than one meal out of the deal – so I just cook a whole chicken and save the meat for later (shredded tacos anyone?). The remaining luscious stock most always gets used for soup!
Speaking of, have you seen this recipe for vegetable soup that I made a while back? What are you waiting for, go check it out (but don’t forget to come back!).
How I Make Homemade Chicken Stock
What I love about this recipe for homemade chicken stock is that I don’t have to peel and chop a whole bunch of veggies.
The process is simple, after putting a little bit of oil into a dutch oven, throw in some washed and roughly chopped carrots, celery and onion – no need to peel – and saute until they start to soften up a bit. Next throw in some garlic (again with the papery outside), fresh herbs such as thyme and parsley, a bay leaf or two, salt and whole black peppercorns.
After these go for a bit add in a whole chicken, cover with water, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for as long as you would like – the longer the better!
I stopped at the 2 hour mark to remove my chicken so that I could use the meat for upcoming recipes. If you cook it too long, the meat will turn to mush (still tasty tho!). Place the bones back into the hot stock and continue to cook for another 10-12 hours.
Once the stock is done, place the pot in a bath of ice water to cool (the sink is perfect for this!). Remove the larger bones and then ladle the stock and the veggies into a sieve to strain. Be sure to press out ALLLL the liquid. Discard the solids and pour the stock into mason jars to be used within a week. You can also freeze your homemade chicken stock in either ice cube trays or muffin tins. Once they are frozen solid, transfer to a zip top freezer bag to be used later.
One last thing, you can easily skim the fat off the top of the liquid once it cools and solidifies. I usually leave it because, well, FLAVOR!
I hope you enjoyed this super easy guide for making homemade chicken stock!
Have you ever made any sort of stock from scratch? Let me know in the comments below!
Homemade Chicken Stock
Yield 2 quarts
- 1 free range chicken
- Oil, for pan
- 1 yellow onion, washed cut in quarters
- 3 ribs celery, washed cut in quarters
- 3 medium carrots, washed cut in quarters
- 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled and smashed
- 1/4 bunch parsley
- 6 sprigs thyme
- big pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- enough spring water to cover chicken
5.5 quart dutch oven
- Heat dutch oven over medium heat and add oil.
- Add carrots, celery, onion, salt, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add herbs and garlic and cook for another few minutes.
- Add chicken to the pot and cover with water. Cover with tight fitting lid.
- Reduce heat and gently simmer for at least 2 hours or until chicken is tender.
- Remove chicken from the pot and place on a cutting board. Let cool and remove the meat. If you would like, place the bones back into the stock and cook up to 12 more hours.
- Remove any large pieces of bone and ladle the stock into a sieve nestled on a bowl. Press firmly to release all of the liquid. Discard the solids.
- Taste the stock and season accordingly.
- Cool and pour into mason jars to use within a week or freeze in ice cube trays and/or muffin tins. If you choose to freeze the stock, remove from trays and place in freezer zip top bags. Use within 6 months.