This is not a “glamorous” post, by any means! But, it’s a post that I hope you find to be useful.
Making your own chicken stock from scratch is super easy and super inexpensive! Homemade chicken stock will always taste WAY better than what you buy in the store. And, as always when making homemade versions, you get to control the flavor and seasonings.
The basic method behind making your own chicken stock is to take the bones, skin, and juices from a cooked chicken and boil it in water for hours. You can make your stock much more flavorful by adding veggies and seasoning to the pot. My favorite combination of stock ingredients is listed below. However, I probably only do that half the time because I am too busy (or lazy) to pull it all together . . . thus, the other half of the time I just boil the chicken stuff in water.
Every once in a a while when I am strapped for time I grab a rotisserie chicken from Costco. I take all the meat off of it and use it as I wish (we either eat it plain off the bones or I shred it and use it in recipes). Once that’s done I’m left with all the bones, skin, and juices. I almost always make stock from all those leftover remnants because it takes little-to-no effort and costs nothing!
My favorite way to use homemade chicken stock is in soups, especially chicken noodle soup. However, you can use it in any recipe in which it is called for. I often freeze the stock so I can pull it out as needed.
Now, make this. You’ll not only taste the improved difference in your recipes, but you’ll feel super industrious for doing so!
Homemade Chicken Stock
5-6 quarts water
1 cooked chicken with meat removed
3 carrots (or 2 handfuls of baby carrots)
3 celery stalks, leaves included
1 large onion, quartered
1/2 – 1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
garlic or garlic powder, optional
celery salt, optional
bay leaves, optional
lemon pepper, optional
Italian seasoning, optional
Place chicken in large stock pot. Make sure you include everything. . . bones, skin, juices from container/roasting pan, etc. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Fill stock pot with water about 3/4 full (usually about 5-6 quarts). Add salt, pepper, and other seasonings if you desire. (If you’re short on veggies, definitely add the extra seasonings.) Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours. Strain broth through a colander and discard veggies and bones, etc. Allow broth to cool and refrigerate or freeze for future use. (If there is a significant amount of fat on the top of your broth, go ahead and skim it off once broth has cooled.)