Chicken Stock

There's is nothing like the smell and taste of home made chicken stock.  The best thing is, its remarkably easy to make.  Adding home made stock to your dishes transforms them from every day - to amazing.

Generally the answer to the question, "Why does your soup or risotto or rice taste so good?"  is "home made chicken stock."

All in all it will take about 3 1/2 hours to make the stock.  Most of the time, you'll do nothing.

First you'll need to make the Mirepoix, that's a French word for the combination of Carrots, Onion and Celery, chopped.  Chop and set aside.

Now to cooking, add the Chicken Carcasses to the cold water. Be sure to use cold water.  It pulls the flavors out of the meats and vegetables as it heats up. Bring to a simmer.  When it starts to simmer, add the chicken and start a timer for 1 hour.  This stage is the most flexible, in that you can go up to 8 hours simmering if you'd like. But one is fine.  When that hour is done, add the vegetables and set the timer for another hour.

When that timer goes off, add the herbs and peppers and simmer for a final hour.  This staged cooking allows you to not over cook the herbs and vegetables and dilute their flavor.

During the first half hour of cooking - you'll need to skim off the "scum" from the cooked meat.  It rises to the surface and can be removed with a skimmer or spoon.  When the stuff rising to the top turns from a yellowish brown foam to a white froth, you don't need to skim anymore.  Keeping the stock pot slightly covered helps to keep the perfect simmer.  It also holds in the flavor and nutrients.

When you are done, season slightly with salt.  You don't want this too salty because you are using it as an ingredient in other dishes.  If in doubt, it's best to go light on the salting.  You can always add salt when you are ready to eat it.

Strain stock through a fine sieve or colander.  You don't want pieves of meat or vegetable in the stock.  It should be like colored water - not chunky soup.

It's best to let stock cool quickly - Don't cover it while cooling - it can become bitter tasting.  If you are storing it in the fridge or freezer - its best to pour it into the containers now and let them cool in their own containers.   Use containers (if possible) sized appropriately for the uses that you plan for the stock.  If unsure, using a number of 12-16oz containers works well.  Don't remove the fat that congeals on top now.  Wait until you use the stock.  The fat helps to serve as a seal keeping the stock fresh.

Use within three days or freeze for up to 6 months.


Main Ingredients:
Coooked or raw chicken carcass
1 each
Celery Stalks
4 each
Yellow Onion
1 each
3 each
1½ quarts
Ground Peppercorns
6 each
Bay Leaf
1 each
Italian Parsley, fresh
3 sprigs
English Thyme, fresh
1 sprig

1½ quarts

Chicken Stock is simply water with the good taste and nutrients of items cooked in it.

To make it easier, put leftover chicken or other meats in fridge or Freezer until ready to make stock. Use fresh ingredients that haven't been refridgerated too long so they have plenty of flavor.  Don't used smoked meats. Don't flavor the stock with anything else.  Stock is often used as an ingredient - so you'll add other flavors when you add it to your next dish.

Stock made from an abundance of bones will gel slightly when cooled.  Don't worry - this is normal and doesn't change the taste - but it does add a lot of great nutrients!

Low-Fat Options:
After you've removed the fat that congeals on top, it's already fat free!