How to Make Chicken Stock

Home made chicken stock adds flavor to dishes that is beyond comparison to store bought chicken stock. It’s easy to make and may be stored in the refrigerator, or freezer for future use.

Below I offer three easy to follow recipes for making chicken stock.

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Basic Chicken Stock from Chicken Carcass

This is a great, inexpensive way to make chicken stock, using the carcass or bones leftover from a chicken meal. You can also use your left over turkey carcass.

What you will need:
Stock Pot
Chicken carcass or bones from 4 – 5 pounds of cooked chicken
About 4 quarts of water

Optional Ingredients:
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf

Place the chicken carcass (or equivalent in bones) in the stock pot. Add vegetables and seasoning if desired. Pour in four quarts of water and bring mixture to a boil. Cut the heat back and simmer for about two hours, or until the liquid is reduced to half.

Turn off heat and remove stock pot from burner. Allow to cool completely. There should not be much fat using the carcass, but if you want to ensure your stock is as fat-free as possible, put your stock pot in the refrigerator over night. The next morning, skim off any fat that has solidified on the top of the juice.

Once cooled, remove the bones, and strain the stock into your container(s). You should be left with about two quarts of stock. I use 1 quart mason jars to store my stock, but any appropriately sized container will work. You can even use freezer bags. Store in the refrigerator for use within a week, or store in the freezer for future use. (If you are using mason jars, be sure to leave at least 2 inches head space or the glass may explode as the liquid freezes!)

NOTE: If using a turkey carcass, you will need to adjust the above recipe to include using a larger stock pot, enough water to completely cover the carcass, and at least double the amount of vegetables and seasoning if you chose to add them.

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Basic Chicken Stock from Whole Chicken, or Chicken Pieces

What you will need:

Stock Pot
About 8 quarts of water
4 – 5 pound whole chicken, or equal amount of chicken parts

Optional Ingredients:
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf

Wash chicken and remove any giblets. Place the washed chicken (or equivalent in pieces) in the stock pot. Add vegetables and seasoning if desired. Pour in enough water to completely cover the chicken (two inches or so above the chicken is ideal) and bring mixture to a boil. Cut the heat back and simmer for four hours – adding water as required to keep the chicken covered at all times. Skim off any foam as it collects at the top.

Turn off heat and remove stock pot from burner. Allow to cool completely. If you want to use your stock right away, skim off the layer of fat that will rise to the top of the pot as the stock cools, and remove the chicken. Otherwise, remove the chicken and put your stock pot in the refrigerator over night. The next morning, skim off any fat that has solidified on the top of the juice.

Strain the stock into your container(s). You should be left with about four quarts of stock. I use 1 quart mason jars to store my stock, but any appropriately sized container will work. You can even use freezer bags. Store in the refrigerator for use within a week, or store in the freezer for future use. (If you are using mason jars, be sure to leave at least 2 inches head space or the glass may explode as the liquid freezes!)

Be sure to remove the chicken from the bone and use it right away, or cut it up and store it in the refrigerator/freezer for future use. Then use that carcass or those chicken bones to make yet another pot of chicken stock!

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Basic Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock from Whole Chicken, or Chicken Pieces

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT attempt using a pressure cooker unless you are thoroughly familiar with it’s use. Follow ALL necessary safety precautions and NEVER open a pressure cooker until all pressure has been released. I am NOT responsible for any injuries or damage that may result from the use of a pressure cooker. This recipe provides only the ingredients and general guidance on using a pressure cooker to make this recipe. In no way is this recipe a lesson on using a pressure cooker. If you are not thoroughly familiar with the safe use of a pressure cooker, do NOT attempt this recipe.

What you will need:

4 quart pressure cooker, or larger
Water – enough to fill pressure cooker half way
4 – 5 pound whole chicken, or equal amount of chicken parts

Optional Ingredients:
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Wash chicken and remove any giblets. Place vegetables (if desired) and the washed chicken (or equivalent in pieces) in the pressure cooker. Add salt and pepper, if desired. Add enough water to reach the 3/4 point of the pressure cooker’s capacity.

Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and put regulator in place. Turn the heat to high until the regulator starts rocking steadily. Reduce heat to keep the regulator rocking at medium for 45 minutes. If you have a pressure indicator, cook at 15 pounds of pressure for 45 minutes.

Turn off heat, remove pressure cooker from hot burner, allow the pressure cooker to cool until all pressure is released – or quick cool by running the pressure cooker under cold water. DO NOT OPEN the pressure cooker until all pressure has released.

Allow pressure cooker contents to cool completely. Remove chicken.

Depending on the size of your pressure cooker, you will be left with two quarts or more of very concentrated chicken stock. If you want to use your stock right away, skim off the layer of fat that will rise to the top of the pot as the stock cools. Otherwise, put your pot in the refrigerator over night. The next morning, skim off any fat that has solidified on the top of the juice. For each quart of this concentrated stock, add 1/2 to 1 quart of water – or leave this stock as it is and add water when using it in a recipe.

Strain the stock into your container(s). I use 1 quart mason jars to store my stock, but any appropriately sized container will work. You can even use freezer bags. Store in the refrigerator for use within a week, or store in the freezer for future use. (If you are using mason jars, be sure to leave at least 2 inches head space or the glass may explode as the liquid freezes!)

Be sure to remove the chicken from the bone and use it right away, or cut it up and store it in the refrigerator/freezer for future use. Then use that carcass or those chicken bones to make yet another pot of chicken stock!

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Now that you’ve got your chicken stock, how about making a nice pot of home made Chicken Noodle Soup? Yum!

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