Making your own chicken stock is one of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen, resulting in a versatile, high-reward product. Some recipes suggest boiling a whole chicken or using chicken meat to make the stock, but that seems wasteful to me. So, I always use chicken carcasses or bones for my stock, and with the addition of vegetables, my stock is always flavorful.
The carcasses can come from roast chickens, even supermarket rotisserie chickens, but feel free to use duck or turkey bones too, especially after a holiday feast. After I make a roast chicken, I remove all the meat and then stick the carcass in a container to store in the freezer. After a month or two, I usually have enough, about 3-4, to make a pot of stock. For turkey, usually one carcass is enough. Roasting the bones help deepen the flavor of the stock.
This recipe is infinitely adjustable, depending on what you have lurking in your vegetable crisper. Have a few extra stalks of celery or green onion starting to wilt? Throw those in. Have some sage or extra parsley in the fridge? Throw those in too. Don’t have enough carrots – that’s ok. One suggestion I would make is to add some chicken necks, which lends a rich gelatinous quality to your stock. Chicken necks are available from any butcher and are really cheap, but chicken wings are a good substitute if you can’t find necks. Overall this is a great, versatile recipe that is great for using up whatever you have on hand.
Finally, I don’t add salt to this stock as I like to use unsalted stock in my cooking so I can adjust the salt at a later time.
Roasted Chicken Stock
Makes about 20 cups
- 3-4 chicken carcasses
- 1 – 1.5 pounds chicken necks
- 2 onions, quartered with skin on
- 3 celery stalks, cut in to 2 inch pieces
- 5 carrots, cut in to 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 15 peppercorns
Preheat the over to 350º. Arrange the chicken carcasses and chicken necks on a sheet pan. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until browned.
Transfer the roasted bones to a large stock pot. Add in the remaining ingredients.
Add enough water to cover the contents of the pot.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once the pot has boiled, reduce the temperature and allow the stock to simmer until it has reduced an inch or so, about 90 minutes.
For a richer, more concentrated stock, simmer for 2 hours (I like to use these concentrated stocks for gravy). Strain out the large solids, then pour the stock through a strainer to remove smaller solids. Store in 2 or 4 cup storage containers (whichever is most useful to you).
If you have one, I like to take the extra step of using a fat separate to remove excess fat from the stock before pouring it in the storage containers.
The stock will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.