Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Basics - Chicken Stock from Scratch

Making Chicken Stock from Scratch

Making Chicken Stock is much easier than most people think - easier, cheaper, healthier and tastier.  I use my crock pot - making it even easier.

1 whole chicken (preferably organic - I wait until there is a sale on the organic whole chickens)
3 large carrots (peeled and cut into large rounds)
3 celery stalks (washed & cut in half)
1 large onion (peeled and quartered)
2 garlic cloves (peeled and smashed)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 + teaspoon ground black pepper (if you like the taste of pepper then add more - I don't measure I just sprinkle and estimate)
1/2 teaspoon salt (NOTE:  I always make my stock light on salt because I will be using this stock for other dishes - salt to taste then.  You can always add more salt later you can never take away salt after it has been added)
Enough water to cover the ingredients (usually about 10 cups of water - depending on the size of the chicken).

1.  Take the chicken out of the package and remove the giblets, heart and neck (if included - you will usually find these in a pouch inside the chicken) (discard the giblets, heart and neck).
2.  Wash the inside cavity of the chicken and the outside of the chicken and place the clean bird in your crock pot.
3.  Prepare all of the vegetables as described above.
4.  Place the prepared vegetables and spices in the crock pot on top of and around the chicken.
5.  Pour enough water into the crock pot to just cover the chicken (you will need a large crock pot)
6.  Turn on the crock pot to "low" for 10 to 12 hours. 
7.  Alow the stock to cool and then strain out the chicken and vegetables.
8.  I compost the vegetables since all of the flavor has been cooked out of them. 
9.  I keep the chicken but it can be argued that most of the flavor has been cooked out also - anyway - this is optional.  If you decide to keep the chicken then you must remove all of the skin and bones from the meat - this is very time consuming (I find the best way is to just use your hands - I'm not "grossed" out by touching meat - so this isn't a problem for me - I'm sorry if this step does "gross" you out)

As you can see the meat and veggies have been removed (on the right) from the broth/stock (on the left)

Refrigerate your stock (or freeze) and use in many recipes


  1. It's true, homemade stock is the best. I make mine -- not very often, it's true -- with chicken wings. They are inexpensive. There isn't much meat on them, but the meat I can get I make into chicken salad. I like the idea of using a crockpot; never thought of that!

  2. Chicken wings - wonderful idea - they are super cheap! Thank you!


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