How to Make Chicken Stock: A Really Good Chicken Stock Recipe
Here's our favorite recipe for really, really good, flavorful, yet super-versatile homemade chicken stock.
How to make chicken stock really, really well at home
This chicken stock recipe uses a combination of whole chickens, lots of aromatics, and long cooking time to create a rich, flavorful, yet still very versatile result. It's the kind of stock that you bring as a gift to someone you love, when someone you love really needs a gift.
We like to salt our chicken stock from the get-go, but lots of people omit salt from the chicken stock recipe itself and only flavor the eventual soup recipe.
It's up to you to decide what you prefer.
Chicken stock protip: don't discard solids
Lots of chicken stock recipes will tell you to discard all the solids after you strain the stock, but we find that even after four hours of gentle simmering, the chicken is often tender and delicious to shred and eat. And if you run the vegetables through a food mill or give them a quick whir in the food processor, then sprinkle with some good parmesan cheese? Well, that makes a fabulous lunch. Just sayin.
- 2 whole organic chickens
- 4 large carrots, washed and cut crosswise into 4 pieces
- 5 stalks celery, with leaves, washed and cut crosswise into 4 pieces
- 2 large yellow onions, peeled, root end trimmed, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 10 sprigs thyme
- A big handful fresh Italian parsley, including stems
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a large stockpot.
- Add 8 quarts water.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 4 hours, stopping by from time to time to skim off and discard any gunk that collects at the top of the pot. (Gunk is the technical term.)
- Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
- Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a very large bowl.
- If you like, Chill the stock overnight and then skim off the fat on the surface, (I often don't, to be perfectly honest.)
- Keeps in airtight containers in a nice cold fridge for a week or in the freezer for six months at least.