Basic Chicken Stock

January 23, 2009

One of life’s unassailable truths is that homemade stock is superior to all substitutes. So, what appear to be those suspiciously cloudy lab samples in your refrigerator/freezer are instead a culinary building block.


1 (3 1/2 to 4 lb) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
16 C cold water
2 celery ribs, cut into 3 inch lengths
2 carrots, cut into 3 inch lengths
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled and gently smashed
6 fresh parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 t dried thyme
8 black peppercorns
2 teaspoons sea salt

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a heavy stock pot. Skim froth. Reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, skimming occasionally, 3 hours.

Pour stock through a fine mesh (chinois) sieve into a large bowl and discard solids. Skim off and discard any fat, then chill, covered.

Can be refrigerated 3 days or frozen 1 month.

Pourboire: As an alternative technique, cook the ingredients some first. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces. Place chicken on a sheet pan which is lightly coated with olive oil and roast until golden, about 35 to 45 minutes. Coat the stock pot lightly with olive oil. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic and bring to a medium high heat. Cook the vegetables stirring frequently until they start to get soft and are very aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Then proceed with the original recipe.


One Response to “Basic Chicken Stock”

  1. irishherault Says:

    Couldn’t agree more! Homemade chicken stock is the best, accept no substitutes.

    Instead of skimming the fat off (which might not get all of it) one trick is to freeze the stock, as it can be easier to scrape the fat off the top. Not so important when making chicken stock but very essential if you’re using a more fatty bird such as a duck or goose.

    And if you have lovage it makes a great alternative to celery.

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