Basic Hearty Chicken Stock

There are few things less appealing than insipid, weak and watery chicken stock! While prepared stocks have their place in the pantry, they do not compare to the rich flavor of slowly simmered homemade stock. Use this hearty chicken stock as a base for soups and stews. It’s also the best stock to use for fall dishes, such as bread stuffing, delicious gravies, or as part of the water in polenta or rice dishes.

Save cooked carcasses, bones (and any cooking juice) from leftover chicken dinners in the freezer. When you’re ready to make stock, add the bones to the stockpot.

INGREDIENTS:

6-7 lbs. chicken backs, necks, or wing tips, cut up
Olive oil, salt and pepper

2 large onions, chopped coarsely
4 carrots, chopped into 1 inch chunks
1 turnip, cut into chunks
2 celery stalks and leaves, chopped
2 leeks and tops, chopped
5 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
8 sprigs Italian parsley
4 thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1 gallon cold water

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Spread chicken parts evenly in large roasting pan. Pour a little olive oil over chicken and toss to coat. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Roast chicken parts until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.

Place roasted chicken parts and juices (as well as any leftover bones from the freezer, if using), and remaining vegetables, herbs and seasonings. Fill stockpot with enough cold water to cover, about 1 gallon of water.

On high heat, bring stock to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 3-4 hours.

When stock has finished cooking, place stockpot in cold water bath in kitchen sink. Stir occasionally, until stock has cooled.

Strain, pouring stock through fine mesh strainer set over another large pan or bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

When chilled, lift the layer of fat from the top of the stock and use for another purpose or discard.

HINTS:

  • For richer stock, use canned or prepared chicken stalk in place of part of the water.
  • Roast one of the chopped onions and a few whole cloves of garlic with the chicken parts for added flavor. Roasting the onions and garlic adds a very mellow flavor to the stock.
  • Substitute turkey parts and bones for the chicken parts. Add one small sprig of sage to the stockpot.