Homemade Chicken Stock

  • the carcass of one roasted chicken OR a pack of chicken drumsticks (I roasted a chicken a few weeks ago and tossed the picked carcass into the freezer. This is also optional – if you want a vegetable stock, leave out the chicken altogether.)
  • 4-6 carrots
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • 2-3 whole garlic bulbs
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 fennel
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. peppercorns
  • water
  • 1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

In your largest stock pot (you can also use two pots if you don’t have a big stock pot) warm the oil, then add the chicken carcass, or drumsticks. Cook on medium heat until nicely browned. This is where a lot of the broth color comes from. Meanwhile, chop and peel the remaining vegetables and herbs. I don’t bother peeling the carrots, but I do like to remove any dirty ends. I do peel the turnip and parsnip. Cut the garlic bulbs and onions in half – no need to remove the papery layers.

Place the onions and garlic in with the chicken. I prefer to get a bit of color on these as well, I think it adds great umami and contributes to the color as well. Add remaining vegetables and herbs, then fill the pot to the brim with water. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 6-12 hours, stirring occasionally.

Make sure you set up a straining system ahead of time. I use two large bowls, a mesh strainer, and a few sheets of cheesecloth. Strain out all the solids and discard. Strain the broth a few times through the mesh strainer, then at least once through the cheesecloth to get a nice clear broth.

Let cool, then pack in freezer safe containers, and/or ice cube trays. Keep in the freezer for 1-3 months. I don’t season (even salt) until I use the broth. Added flavors depend on what I’m making. I typically get around 2 gallons of broth. Use in soups, stews, and sauces.

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