Fall is here! There is no better way to kick off my “What I Learned in Culinary School” series than to show you how to make chicken stock. This was one of the first few lessons we learned and to be honest, if I knew how easy making stock could be, I would have tried years ago. I don’t know why it was so intimidating to me before, but I have to say, I may never buy store bought stock again.
The stock I am showing you how to make today is loaded with aromatics. It is the perfect base for soups, stews, gravies, pan sauces, braising, and so much more. I used this stock recipe to make a pan gravy from some braised turkey wings, and the flavor was insane! I’ll be sharing that recipe with you very soon as well.
Basic Steps for Stock:
These are the basic steps for making chicken stock. I go into more detail in the recipe card below, but here is the breakdown:
- Place bones in a stock pot with water. Bring to a boil. Skim all impurities.
- Blanch the bones.
- Return to a clean pot & cover with cold water again. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer for 2 hours. Skim all impurities.
- Add in aromatics. Simmer for another 1 1/2 hours.
- Strain, cool, and store.
See! As easy as pie. Most of the work done on your part will be straining and skimming, but other than that, this is something you won’t really need to keep an eye on. The blanching of the bones in the beginning helps remove a large amount of the impurities, so you won’t have to skim as much later on.
All of Your Chicken Stock Questions, Answered!
Every time I have a whole chicken that I plan to roast, I cut out the backbone, throw it in a ziploc bag, and freeze it for stock use. I do the same with wing tips when I’m making chicken wings, and whole chicken carcasses when I cut all of the meat off of a whole bird. Freezing these bones over time is a great way to get the most bang for your buck, and is also a great way to eliminate food waste.
Blanching is the process of bringing the bones of an animal (in this case a chicken) to a boil for a short amount of time and then straining and thoroughly rinsing those bones. The purpose of this is to remove the bones of as many impurities as possible in the early stages of stock making, which results in a clearer stock at the end.
Aromatics are the vegetables and herbs that bring wonderful flavor to your stock. It doesn’t hurt that they also perfume your home, because smell plays a strong role in aiding our sense of taste.
To keep in guidelines with food safety, and ice bath is the quickest and easiest way to cool down your stock quickly and get it ready for proper storage. The quick cool down will help prevent food-borne illnesses. Place your stock pot in your sink, and surround the pot with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Stir occasionally to cool the stock quicker.
Chicken stock should hold up well in your refrigerator for 4-5 days, and in your freezer for at least 6 months, if stored in an airtight container. I like to store my stock in 32 oz deli containers because they are airtight and usually spill proof.
Things to Note:
- Your chicken stock should NOT be salted. This stock serves as a base to everything you will use it in (soups, stews, braises, gravies, etc). Add salt to those dishes when you are incorporating the stock.
- A little trick I use to taste the stock is taking a spoonful and sprinkling a few grains of salt in it. This will help you taste how well those flavors infused together.
- I did not note a specific amount of water because all stock pots are not created equal! They all come in different heights and widths, so just be sure to add enough water to cover the bones by 1-2 inches.
- When using the finished stock in different recipes, the more you boil it down beforehand, the more intense the flavor becomes. This is always a plus!
Watch The Full Video Tutorial, Here:
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My Culinary School Journey
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- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 3 1/2 quarts 1x
Homemade chicken stock loaded with aromatics. The perfect base for soups, stews, gravies, pan sauces, braising, and so much more!
- 3 pounds chicken bones
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 leek
- 1 garlic head
- 2 ginger pieces, one inch each
- 8 thyme sprigs
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 15 black peppercorns
- Place chicken bones into a large stock pot and fill with water, 1-2 inches above the bones. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, skimming any impurities off of the top with a spoon or a fine mesh sieve.
- After 5 minutes, strain the chicken bones and rinse off well with cold water. Clean out your pot and return the bones. Fill up the pot again with cold water 1-2 inches above the bones.
- Bring the bones to a boil, then reduce the flame to a simmer. Simmer the bones for 2 hours. Continuously skim any impurities off of the top.
- Prepare your aromatics (all of your vegetables and herbs) by cutting the carrots, ginger, garlic head, and onion in halves, the celery into thirds, and only the white part of the leek into 3 or 4 pieces.
- After 2 hours, add your aromatics to the pot and continue to simmer for another 1 1/2 hours.
- Strain the stock.
- Cool and store for future use.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
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