Chicken Stock

Homemade chicken stock blows the store bought stuff out of the water. You can make a large batch and freeze it for up to 3 months. For this you will need 1 large stock pot and 1 very large stockpot (20 qt or so).


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 roasted chicken carcass (if you have one, otherwise use a second whole chicken)
  • 4 carrots, halved
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into thirds
  • 2 onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, sliced crosswise
  • 20 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh dill (optional)
  • 2 parsnips, halved (optional)
  • Mushroom stems (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 6 quarts water


In a very large stock pot, first place the raw chicken, then the cooked chicken carcass, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Cover with water (however much this takes, about 6 qts for me) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 4 hours. Leaving the lid slightly off stops it from cooking down too rapidly which would leave you with more concentrated flavor, but less stock. Don’t worry; it will be plenty flavorful.

After the first hour, remove the whole chicken to a cutting board. Preheat oven to 400°. When cool enough to handle, carve the meat and separate the bones. Reserve whatever meat you like (I usually just keep the breasts) and throw the rest back into the pot. Return the carcass, any meat your not keeping, giblets, and any other ingredients you pulled out back into the pot. Chop the bones in half and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil then salt. Roast the bones for 15 minutes then return them to the pot.

Once the 4 hours have passed strain the stock into another pot. You can do this is batches, squeezing out any excess liquid from the solids before discarding them. Transfer the strained stock pot to an ice bath and cool rapidly before putting in the fridge overnight.

After chilling over night, all the fat will rise to the top of the stock. Skim this off with a spoon and discard or reserve if you have a use for it. At this stage the stock may have turned to a gelatinous consistency. This is a result of breaking down all the connective tissue in the chicken and it will return to a liquid state when heated.

This should yield 3 quarts, but chicken stock is unique each time you make it. I like to freeze 2 single quart batches and 4 single cup batches. I find recipes tend to call for either a quart or a cup of stock such as for a soup or sauce, respectively.

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