The Sauce: Chicken Stock – Homemade chicken stock is a rich sauce that adds depth to soups, stews, sauces, gravies, dressings, vegetables, rice, and noodles. It excels stock from a jar, can or box and creates dimension in dishes.
Can’t cook without it
How many cups of chicken stock do you use a week? I’m designing weekly Menu and Execution Plans that not only include the menu and grocery list but a visual plan to integrate the prep process for each meal. One of the grocery lists requires over 3 quarts of chicken stock. An Italian soup is on the menu but still, 5 of the seven dinners call for at least a few tablespoons of ‘liquid gold’.
Chicken stock, compared to beef stock, is so easy to make. It only takes 3 hours of mostly unattended simmer time rather than most of the day. It doesn’t require roasting the bones and there’s no rewash needed. I use chicken stock for so many dishes.
I never buy chicken bones. When I am prepping chicken dishes I throw wing tips, back bones and the like, into the freezer. When I have about 5 pounds I haul out and make chicken broth. I can place it on the stove to cook during dinner prep and let it simmer through the evening, then get it ready to refrigerate before the late night news.
Recipe: Chicken Stock
Prep Time: 10 Min | Inactive Time: 8 Hours | Cook Time: 3 Hours 10 Min | Yield: 16-18 Cups | Level: Easy
- 5 lbs raw chicken bones
- 3 cups rough diced onions
- 2 cups rough diced carrots
- 1 cup rough diced celery
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley stems
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 Tbsp peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
Special Equipment – large stock pot, fine mesh strainer, large bowl, storage containers
1 Place all the ingredients in a large stock pot and cover with cold water, about 14-18 cups. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours.
2 Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Chill overnight to allow the fat to rise to the top and solidify. Scrape off the fat and discard. Place the stock in containers and refrigerate or freeze.
Never add salt to stock; pure stock won’t taste seasoned. Add salt to dishes after the stock is combined to avoid over salting reduced sauces, soups and stews.
Strain the stock by placing the solids in a fine colander over a bowl to catch the liquid.
Cool the stock quickly to prevent spoilage. Set the container with stock in a sink filled with ice water deep enough to surround sides. May also place clean ice packs in zipper bags and place directly in stock.
Degrease the stock by refrigerating overnight. The fat will rise to the top and solidify, discard.
Stock can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for 3 months. Label and store the stock in 1-4 cup containers. Fill ice cube trays and freeze for 2 tablespoon portions. Once frozen pop out and store in freezer zipper bags.
A word on the difference between stock and broth. There are lots of views on this topic. For example, stock is made with bones where broth isn’t, or stock is unsalted and broth is seasoned, or stock is richer than broth. Whichever definition you prefer, this recipe is made with bones, it’s unsalted and richer than the average broth which means it’s a stock.
Use chicken stock as a base for soups, gravies, sauces, dressings, stews, glazes, wok cooking, vegetables, rice, noodles; it’s a flavor booster. When a recipe calls for chicken stock, this is it.
- Exchange chicken for turkey or combine chicken and turkey.
Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: November 27, 2012