I’m telling you… once you’ve made chicken stock from scratch, and you see how easy it is to throw together and you taste how delicious it is, you’ll think awfully hard about not buying store bought stock ever again.
I make my stock almost completely from kitchen scraps– the stuff that most people would throw away. A leftover roasted chicken carcass, the innards and neck that are usually bagged in the cavity of a store-bought whole chicken, onion skins and ends, carrot peelings and tips, celery stubs and garlic scraps. Whenever I’m cooking in the kitchen and end up with any of these tidbits I toss them all together into a freezer bag until I have enough to make a big pot of stock. When I’m ready to cook it all down, I usually chop up some fresh onion and carrots to add to the pot of scraps, and maybe toss in a few garlic cloves, just to give it a little more flavor.
Since it’s made with stuff that would have otherwise been tossed, it’s pretty much free to make.
If you freeze all of your scraps ahead of time, prep is super easy. Just toss the bones, meat and veggies into a pot, add some spices, cover it with water and let it go! Keep in mind that the stock will need to be refrigerated overnight before you use it, so plan to make it a day in advance.
I’m telling you, the flavor is incredible. Totally worth the effort.
Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe
- 1 whole roasted chicken carcass; or 4 lbs chicken pieces with bones (cooked or uncooked)
- chicken innards, neck, and/or feet
- onion peels and scraps, enough to equal about 2 large onions
- carrot peels and scraps, enough to equal 2 large carrots
- celery scraps, enough to equal 2 large celery ribs
- 10 peppercorns
- 1 head of garlic (leave skin on), broken into cloves
- 2 Tbsp salt
Place all of the ingredients at once into a large stockpot, adding enough cold water to cover the chicken. Put a lid on the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Skim off any floating fat and scum. Continue simmering on low for 4-5 hours (or you can cook in a crockpot on low for 9-12 hours). Turn the pot off and allow it to cool down, then strain the liquid through a colander or cheesecloth. Transfer the strained stock to the fridge to sit overnight. The next day remove any hardened fat from the top, then use the stock as desired.
Once all of the fat has been removed from the stock you can use it to make a nourishing soup, pressure can it, or allow it to cool to room temp. before transferring the stock to freezer bags. Learn how to pressure can chicken stock.
Homemade chicken noodle soup is a fantastic way to use chicken stock, especially when you’re feeling under the weather. There are so many amazing vitamins and minerals in a nutritious bone stock. Whenever any of us are recovering from a stomach flu I like to add Black Lava Salt to a cup of hot chicken stock to sip a teaspoon at a time every 30 minutes until we can hold down more. Black Lava Salt is infused with activated charcoal, which will help absorb the bad stuff in your stomach causing it to be upset.