There are many reasons to make your own chicken stock at home, the most important being flavour. Another good reason is that you know exactly what goes in, leaving out any nasty additives.
I like to make a medium bodied stock – something in between a pale, thin stock and a gelatinous, concentrated liquid. But you can achieve any and all of these results at home with the right ingredients and a little patience.
A basic chicken stock is made up of uncooked chicken bones, root vegetables and aromatics such as garlic and fresh herbs. Of course, there are many variations of this classic recipe – ranging from the type of meat used to the length of the cooking time. I prefer to keep my stock simple so I use whatever chicken carcass I have (with bones) and simmer everything gently for 1.5 to 2 hours. Strong flavours like ginger, mushrooms and lemon peel limit the versatility of the stock.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to start any stock with cold water. This way we extract as much flavour from the ingredients in the stock pot as possible. If you’d like to know more, Food52’s community hotline discusses a few interesting explanations for using cold water here.
- 500 grams Chicken carcass, with bones
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- fresh herbs (1 sprig rosemary,1 sprig oregano, 8 to 10 basil leaves)
- rock salt
- cracked black pepper
- 2 litres cold water
- Add all the ingredients to a large stock pot that's big enough to fit 2 litres of water.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer.
- Skim the surface for any impurities.
- Simmer gently on low heat for 1.5 to 2 hours.
- Allow to cool and strain using a fine sieve or a cheesecloth.
- Freeze and use whenever needed.
- The stock will keep well in the fridge for 4 days and freezer for 2-3 months.