I always feel like it’s a slap in the face to my career as a chef every time I use the store bought chicken stock. If I can avoid buying it, I will. A lot of my recipes don’t include chicken stock but every now and again I’ll get a craving for something such as risotto that requires the use of chicken stock for half the recipe. If I don’t have it made then sadly I’m forced to buy it from the store. The best part about making chicken stock at home is its very little effort to make and you can freeze it for as long as you want until you are ready to use it. I love making chicken stock just for the fact that it makes my house smell fantastic and the taste is much better. To get a decent amount of stock you need quite a lot of chicken bones. I’ve been saving my bones for a few months now from the few whole birds I’ve roasted or the chicken thighs I’ve braised so that I can indeed make a large batch of stock. You can hold the chicken bones in your freezer for a few months until your ready to use them. I’m not saying you have to eat chicken every day to get a good amount of bones, but you should probably include a whole chicken into your dinner once a week.
I only had about 2 pounds of bones, so to up the amount of scraps, I purchased a pack of 10 whole chicken thighs (with meat and skin attached) and added that into the stock. Most people toss their chicken scraps at the end of the stock process, I like to keep the meat (if there is any) so I’m not wasteful in my product. I got a full size freezer bag of chicken meat from this stock and I wasn’t about to just toss it. Save it and add it into your salads for lunch, make tacos or chicken noodle soup or freeze it for when you want to make something with chicken.
Active Time: 40 Minutes
Total Time: 4.5 Hours
Yield: 1 Gallon
Mise en Place (Ingredients):
-5 Stalks of celery, cut into medium chunks———————————————————>
-5 Medium Carrots, peeled, cut into medium chunks———————————————> Mirepoix
-3 Medium Yellow onions, Peeled, cut into medium chunks———————————->
-5 Pounds Chicken Bones, roasted (This also include the package of chicken thighs)
-3 Bay leaves
-1 Bunch Thyme
-1 Tablespoon Whole Black Peppercorns
-1 Gallon stock pot
-Ziploc bags or holding containers for stock
-Salt and Pepper
Method of Prep:
-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place roasting rack over sheet tray. Lay chicken bones and thighs on roasting rack (If you don’t have room, you’re going to have to cook in separate batches). Lightly cover with oil, salt and pepper.
-Place in the oven until thighs and bones are a golden brown to dark brown color. Approximately 40 minutes.
-Cut up mirepoix (onions, celery, and carrot) set aside.
-In a cheese cloth, place bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme. Pull sides together and tie tight.
-Once chicken and bones have the brown color, remove from oven and let cool completely.
-Place bones and sachet of herbs inside the stock pot. Fill up to the top with cold water.
-Place on the stove on medium high heat and bring to a light simmer. Once stock begins to simmer, reduce heat to low. DO NOT let stock boil at any point, this will make your stock cloudy if you go too hard. Let lightly simmer for 2 hours. (if water begins to reduce, gradually add more)
-At the two hour mark, add in your mirepoix. Bring back up to a light simmer and continue to cook for a remaining 2 hours.
-Strain your stock into another large pot or pitcher (save chicken scraps if you want). Let the stock cool in the refrigerator uncovered. Once cool, separate into holding containers or ziploc bags. Label and place in the freezer until ready to use.