Last updated on July 7th, 2018 at 12:40 am
This Basic Chicken Stock is so much better and much more flavorful than any store bought stock! Simply made with chicken, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and parsley. In less than two hours you can enjoy a flavorful and healthy Chicken Stock at home!
Stocks in general are the secret “weapon” of restaurant kitchens. Stocks are the most important building block of soups, sauces, and reductions. Mastering this simple and basic chicken stock recipe is one of the keys to kitchen stardom!
Chicken Stock ~ The Basics:
A good basic white chicken stock – meaning a stock that does not require you to roast your bones and vegetables, is one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. For this reason, it should have a clean chicken and vegetables flavor with some “body” or consistency, definitely more body than just plain water.
What part of the chicken to use? Stocks can be made with whole chickens or with any chicken part. The result in flavor and body will depend on what part of the chicken you choose. Chicken wings will produce a more gelatinous broth than chicken thighs. Use chicken feet and you’ll end up with a thick and sticky broth perfect for sauces. Chicken breasts produce a very flavorful stock that is thin with very little body.
For this recipe, I use a whole chicken. For the aromatics – onions, carrots, celery and garlic. For the herbs – parsley, thyme and bay leaves. For spices – whole black peppercorns. Plain, basic, simple!
Of course, you can add other flavorings like ginger or tarragon but that will result in a broth with a different flavor profile, one that may not be suitable for all recipes (if your basic broth has a strong ginger taste, it may not work well for your chicken pot pie recipe – unless you are going for an Asian style chicken pot pie of course!).
Skimming or not skimming? I have to be honest, I only skim my broth once during the cooking process – usually towards the beginning (when the protein solids first float to the top).
If I’m going to use a strainer at the end to strain my solids, I don’t see the point of “babysitting” or “stock watching” and skimming over and over again.
- The difference between canned chicken broth and the real deal is huge. Don’t get me wrong, I love the convenience of canned broth and I always keep some in my pantry but, you cannot compare the rich flavors of slow simmered chicken goodness to its canned counterpart.
- Chicken scraps, YES!!!! Vegetable scraps, YES!! I keep a bag of chicken bones in my freezer and I keep adding to it until I have enough to make broth. I do the same with vegetable trimmings.
- In commercial kitchens, we never add salt to stocks. They are a base for another recipe. Sometimes it will be reduced to create a sauce. Adding salt to the stock can make your final dish a total salty disaster.
At home, feel free to add some salt.
- My favorite basic equipment for stock making: stock pot, stainless steel chinois (fine mesh strainer)
- Try this amazing Slow Cooker Beef Bone
Basic Chicken Stock – White Stock
- 4-6 pounds chicken, chicken parts, bones or whole chicken
- 4 quarts water
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 carrots, chopped in big chunks
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 large sprigs of parsley
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Combine the chicken, cold water, onions, carrots, celery, garlic parsley, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- As the water heats up froth will rise to the top. Once it comes to a boil, skim off the froth and lower the heat to a very gentle simmer. Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer. Let cool and transfer to containers and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 5-6 hours. Skim off and remove any fat from the surface.
- Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.