I hope this batch of Guilt Free Chicken Stock inspires you to make some stock at home!
I used to be super picky about having the right proportion of bones to veggies to water, but not anymore! Now I just make it when it sounds good 🙂
This batch is the perfect example of that newfound approach -- I hope you get some ideas from it!
How To Make A Quick Batch of Chicken Stock
Do you ever put stuff in the fridge and then completely forget about it?
That's what happened with this chicken carcass:
It had been in the freezer for a few weeks and it was completely off my radar.
I've been buying whole chickens lately, and this was a leftover bird with breasts and thighs removed, but wings still attached.
So it weighed about 2.5 lbs. -- in the past I would try to get a higher bones-to-water ratio, but lately I just wing it 🙂
I roughly chopped two older onions and diced up a couple carrots, cooking these in some oil over medium heat:
I also added a few crushed peppercorns. Note: I typically don't add salt to stock as I feel it gives you more leeway down the road.
Once the onion is starting to brown you can add whatever else you find in your fridge. For this batch that meant adding the chicken carcass along with a half bunch of cilantro:
I filled this 2 gallon pot to the brim with cold water and brought it up to a boil.
Note that you could use a single gallon pot with these exact components to get an equally good but more concentrated batch of stock.
As the water comes to a boil you'll probably get some foam rising to the surface.
You can skim off and discard the big chunks of foam, but don't worry about getting rid of every last bit.
Once boiling you can reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let the heat work some magic for 1-2 hours.
Here's how this batch looked after a 90 minute simmer:
Looks great right?!
It will also fill your kitchen with the aroma of comfort. This is a wonderful side benefit of making stock as it will cozy up your home for the rest of the day.
Set this aside to cool for a bit and then give it a big strain. I usually remove the big chunks with tongs and then send it all through a fine mesh sieve.
I used to give it a final pass through cheese cloth for an ultra fine strain, but even that has fallen by the wayside over the years 🙂
This 2 gallon pot produced about 7 quarts of liquid heaven.
I usually plop a couple of the Mason jars in the fridge to be used over the coming days, and put the rest in the freezer where it will keep for months at a time.
As it cools the fat will solidify and rise to the top -- you are welcome to scrape off and discard some of the fat, but lately I keep most of it as it does wonders for flavor.
It's already got a savory, complete flavor all by its lonesome. I will sometimes even heat some up, add a pinch of salt, and then drink it from a glass 🙂
It's a massive upgrade compared to store-bought stock, and it will work wonders in your enchilada sauces, soups, and even dishes like Birria. As an example, here's what I've been using it for lately:
Roasted Poblano Soup (and Quick Poblano Soup with Mini Pico Quesadillas)
Easy Mexican Beans and Rice Soup
Making your own stock is a kitchen gamechanger! I hope this post inspires you to go for it 🙂
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Guilt Free Chicken Stock
- 2-4 lbs. chicken bones or chicken carcasses
- 2-3 onions
- 3-4 carrots
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- crushed black peppercorns
- 1-2 gallons cold water
Other ingredients to consider:
- bay leaves
- chicken feet
- Give the onions and carrots a rough chop and cook them in a glug of oil over medium heat.
- When the onion is starting to brown add the remaining ingredients. For this batch that meant: chicken carcass, 1/2 bunch cilantro, some crushed peppercorns, and 2 gallons cold water.
- Bring this mixture to a boil. You can skim off and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 1-2 hours. (This batch simmered for 90 minutes.)
- Set aside to cool, then send it all through a fine mesh sieve. Portion your stock into Mason jars or tupperware containers. I usually put some in the fridge where it will keep for a few days, and put the rest in the freezer where it will keep for months.
- Note: at it cools the fat will rise to the surface and solidify. You are welcome to scrape off and discard as much of it as you want. Lately I keep most of it as it does wonders for flavor 🙂
Here's the latest addition to the site: 15 Minute Creamy Chipotle Chicken.
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Seth A. Weil
"Wing it!" I see what you did there!
I’m assuming the carcass is raw, correct?
Hi Anne! Yeah I used a raw carcass for this batch, but you can also make stock using the leftover bones of a roasted chicken. Cheers.