I thought I’d kick off this new chapter in the story of my blog with an easy recipe for chicken stock. I will be making many, many soups this autumn and winter, and I absolutely prefer homemade stock to the store-bought kind. Don’t be afraid – it’s easier than you think.
I’ve looked at so many stock recipes over the last few months, and I learned two things. One, that there is no “one way” to make stock. And two, that I needed to learn to adapt these recipes to my needs. My favorite one is Ina Garten’s (surprise, surprise if you know me at all). Her recipe, however, uses a HUGE stockpot in which she fits in three chickens (three!) in addition to a bunch of veggies. I definitely do not have a stockpot that big, and I’m guessing most people probably don’t either. So my recipe is for people with normal-sized pots! You’re welcome.
Easy Chicken Stock (recipe adapted from Ina Garten)
Makes about 2 quarts of stock
- One 3-5 pound roasting chicken or 5-8 chicken pieces (carcasses – sorry I know that’s kind of a gross word)
- Large yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
- 2 carrots, unpeeled and halved
- 2 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
- 1/4-1/2 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
- 10 sprigs fresh parsley
- 5-10 springs fresh thyme
- 3/4 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
Place the chicken, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, herbs, salt and peppercorns in a large stockpot (I used an 4-quart pot). Cover with water, leaving about an inch to the brim of the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Strain it all through a colander, discard the solids and put the liquid in plastic containers. Chill the stock overnight. Remove the surface fat the next day. Use immediately or freeze for up to 3 months.
Stock is easily customizable. Ina puts parsnips in hers, but since I never buy parsnips I left them out. And I usually use thyme in my stock, but my thyme plant has recently been depleted so I threw in some chives I had this time instead. No biggie. She also puts dill in hers, which I haven’t used before but want to try one day when I have some around. To plan ahead for stock making, I freeze whatever is leftover from a whole chicken or individual pieces that have bones. Then I have a little store in the freezer ready to go for when I want to make stock.
I’m thinking I might use our Thanksgiving turkey bones this year to make turkey stock! I want to use fresh sage to add some holiday flavor. Yum!