Homemade chicken stock tastes so much better than anything from the store.
- 4 lb. whole chicken, giblets removed
- 2 large carrots, cut into thirds
- 5 celery ribs, cut into thirds
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 dry bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns
Prepare the ingredients: Place chicken in a 6.5-quart or bigger soup pot. Make sure to remove the giblets from the cavity. Cut the carrots and celery into thirds, and quarter the onion. Add all of the vegetables, along with the garlic to the soup pot. No need to peel the carrots, onion, or garlic. Add bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns. Add enough cold water to cover the chicken and vegetables.
Boil the stock: Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. You want a constant bubbling, mostly around the edges. Keep the pot partially covered.
Skim off scum (if you like): Skim off the scum with a skimmer that floats to the surface if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. Cook the stock for 2 hours. After 2 hours, taste the stock, and if the stock isn’t as flavorful as you’d like, keep simmering and taste again every 15 minutes.
Strain the stock: When the stock is ready, remove the chicken to a bowl by lifting it out of the stock with two large forks or spoons. Remove the vegetables and any large bits with a slotted spoon. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a clean large bowl and pour the stock through the strainer. Strained stock will be very gelatinous. To dilute, stir in 2 cups of room temperature water to the stained stock.
Store the stock: The stock is now ready to be used. Before storing let the stock cool at room temperature. Then pour into storage containers, cover, and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months. When freezing stock, leave 1/2-inch of space at the top of the container as liquid expands when frozen. Makes 8 cups of stock.
- To Use: Cold stock has jellied consistency. To use, you can let it sit at room temperature or slightly warm it up until it turns to liquid or add it in jelly form straight to your recipe. If stock is frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator first.
- Recipe originally published 3/10/2014.
Keywords: homemade, easy, fresh