Lately I have been making homemade chicken stock. I control the flavor, amount of salt and it is way cheaper than buying it, especially if you use large quantities. There are so many holiday recipes we use stock for so I wanted to share my version. I like to use a full chicken to make stock but will use whatever pieces I have on hand. In a few months one of my favorite ranchers will have local chickens available and I will starting using them, until then I buy what I can find on sale.
I know some people boil their chicken for stock but I prefer to roast it. It really enhances the flavor and adds another layer of complexity to the stock. You could also use the carcass from a store-bought rotisserie chicken. I almost never buy boneless chicken so there is always a bag of chicken bones in my freezer. Legs, thighs and breasts, they are all in there. Backs and necks are awesome for stock too if you can find them from your local butcher. Bone-in, skin-on meat is less expensive and has so much more flavor but that is another post! lol
The important thing is we need chicken bones, the equivalent of a full bird. I roast my chicken first, remove the meat from the bones (which I use in other recipes through the week) then I roast the bones again. Just toss the bones in a large baking dish or on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and roast at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Don’t throw away the juices and fat that collect in the pan, save those for the stock!
This recipe is basically a guideline because you can really mix it up. Stock is an awesome way to use up veggie odds and ends. When you trim vegetables save the ugly butts, they still have a ton of flavor to contribute to your recipes. Just keep them in a bag in the crisper drawer until you are ready to use them.
I prefer traditional onions, celery and carrots in my stock but I love to add garlic. Parsnips, leeks and fennel would be tasty additions too. I add a ton of black pepper, a pinch of red pepper flake for kick but no salt. If I have parsley on hand it goes in, if not then I don’t stress about it. Be adventurous and try your own combo, I would just recommend you skip the salt. Save that for the recipe you are using your stock in.
My crockpot is 5 quarts and I can get about a gallon of stock out of one batch. Realistically you will have about 3-3 1/2 quarts of actual stock out of the crockpot but then I add additional water to reach a gallon. It is so concentrated that the extra water doesn’t change the flavor. A larger crockpot will yield more stock. You can chill the mixture then skim the fat off the top if you need a leaner version. I prefer to leave it…fat adds flavor!
the new Mrs. B
- Bones from 1 whole cooked chicken or equivalent
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 4 ribs celery, 2 cups if using ends
- 2 large carrots, 1½ cups if using ends
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flake
- 10-14 cups water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken bones in a large baking dish or roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, Roast 15-20 minutes to caramelize. Set aside, reserve pan drippings.
- Place vegetables in crockpot, liberally season with black and red pepper. Put bones on top and pour in drippings, add enough water to fill crockpot. Cook on low 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Pour mixture through a strainer into a large bowl, discard vegetables and bones. Transfer stock to airtight jug, store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- *optional~ add enough water to make a full gallon