If you roast a chicken and end up with a carcass, don’t you dare throw it away. Use it to make a rich-flavored homemade chicken stock that you can use in turn to make soups or other recipes!
When I’ve roasted a chicken (or even purchased one from the store), I can’t even imagine tossing a chicken carcass in the trash. What an incredible waste that would be. Making homemade stock is very simple. You must try it!
How to make Homemade Chicken Stock:
The full, printable recipe is at the end of this post. You will need a stockpot for this recipe.
The chicken carcass goes into the stockpot with water. Fill the pot with water so that the chicken carcass is emerged in the water. Add several kinds of vegetables and a few herbs and seasonings. I pretty much throw everything under the sun into the pot with the chicken: onions, carrots, leeks, celery, parsnips, garlic, and fresh thyme, dill and parsley. Add a little salt and pepper too. Simmer it for several hours.
Strain the liquid through a fine sieve, and discard the solids. Pour the liquid into a bowl or large measuring cup. Cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. As it chills, a layer of fat will accumulate on top of the broth.
The next day, use a spoon to remove the layer of fat that has solidified on the top of the bowl of stock. The stock itself may become jelly-like when it’s chilled. Once it comes to room temperature again (or is heated), it will turn back to a liquid state.
What do you use chicken stock for?
Why would you want chicken stock? Well, consider it a really, really good chicken broth. It’s much richer in flavor than broth, and it’s perfect for making soups. Even if you don’t plan to use the stock for anything in the near future, it freezes beautifully.
How to Freeze Chicken Stock:
Measure 1 cup of the chicken stock and pour it into a freezer bag. 1 cup is a good amount because it’s easier for adding to recipes. Carefully seal the bag so there’s no excess air trapped inside. Lay the sealed freezer bags flat on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours, or until frozen solid.
Homemade Chicken Stock
- One 5-pound chicken carcass (or any size)
- 1 large onion, chopped in large chunks
- 1 large leek, trimmed and rinsed, chopped into large chunks
- 3 medium carrots, unpeeled, ends trimmed and halved
- 3 stalks celery, cut into 4-inch lengths
- 3 medium parsnips, unpeeled, ends trimmed and halved
- 1 handful Italian flat-leaf parsley
- A few sprigs fresh thyme
- A few sprigs fresh dill
- 4 large garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Place the chicken in large stockpot. Add about 2½ quarts of water (your chicken should be just submerged, so add more if needed). Add all veggies, herbs and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; continue to simmer uncovered for 4 hours.
- Strain the entire contents of the pot through a fine sieve and discard the solids. Pour the liquid into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, use a spoon to remove the layer of fat that has solidified on the top of the bowl of stock. The stock itself may become jelly-like when it’s chilled. Once it comes to room temperature again (or is heated), it will turn back to a liquid state.
- The more chicken meat that is left on your carcass, the richer the chicken flavor will be in your stock.
- Homemade stock will keep just fine in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cover and freeze for up to 6 months.