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.
At this point you can decide what to do with it. Freeze it to use later, or use it up within a few days for chicken soup, other soups, risotto and other recipes. Enjoy!
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.
Chicken stock is also a great way to use your vegetable clippings if you don’t compost–just save the ends of carrots, onions, and celery, as well as the skin if you peel them. You can also use veggies that have gone a little soft if they haven’t started molding at all. I just keep a container in my freezer and add veggies to it whenever I have them, and make stock every month or two with them.
Awesome- love that tip!
WHAT I DON’T LIKE IS DISCARDING THE COOKED VEGETABLES. WITH THE VEGS. AND THE BONES TOGETHER, IT WOULD BE HARD TO SEPERATE. SUGGESTIONS?
The cooked vegetables lose their flavor during the long simmering process- because it all goes into the broth. It’s best to start fresh when you make soup w/ the stock.
Thank you so much for this! I just found a great farm to get wonderful whole chickens and didn’t want to waist one bit of it. This will get used often. Thank you for sharing!
I am currently making this stock for the first time. Do I use it 1:1 in place of broth or should it be diluted when making soup?
Use it as you would use chicken broth. It will just give it a better flavor!
The main difference between stock and broth is the use of bones versus just flesh. Bones contain high amounts of collagen – a connective protein that becomes gelatin when heated. Chicken stock should have high enough levels of collagen to make the stock somewhat jelly-like when cooled. The gelatin adds a great mouthfeel but takes somewhat longer than broth to make.
If the gelatin effect doesn’t happen for you, never fear – so long as the chicken stock tastes good it can be used to make soup or other chicken broth type products. If you really want or need true stock with a high collagen content, you can reduce the liquid by 1/3 to 1/2, increasing the concentration of collagen and creating a much richer stock.