The previous post concerned making a good beef stock, a critical essential to soups and sauces. This post concerns making a good chicken stock. While many of you already know how to make basic stocks, there are others that don’t so I decided to put these basics on the blog, especially since I had to make them for the French Onion Soup recipe.
Nothing adds flavor and richness to a soup or dish better than a really good stock. Making your own is inexpensive, easy and tastes so much better than box or canned stock. It refrigerates for a week and freezes well, so don’t be afraid of how much you will have on hand. You will find uses for it and your reward for your trouble will be fabulous meals.
While you can use box or canned chicken stock, it suffers from the same issues as beef stock in that USDA only requires 135 parts water to 1 part chicken. As such, chicken stock manufacturers don’t use a lot of chicken in their stocks. Nonetheless, it is easier to extract the flavor from the chicken than it is beef so the flavor of the chicken stop is a marked improvement over beef stock, so much so that many recipes/chefs recommend canned or boxed chicken stock in place of canned or box beef stock which is downright nasty. Rather than cheat yourself, your family and guests by using commercially prepared stocks or broths, make your own. You will be glad you did and your house will smell wonderful the entire day from the aromatic stock. 🙂
- 2 leftover roasted chicken carcasses
- any leftover necks, giblets (other than the liver) and backs, if you butcher your own chicken
- 2 onions, rough chop
- 2 carrots carrots, rough chop
- 4 stalks celery, rough chop
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 eggs
- 12 qts water
Crack 2 eggs into 4 qts of water and vigorously stir to incorporate. Take the leftover carcasses, veggies, garlic and spices and add to the stock pot. Add remainder of the water to cover the chicken.
Bring to a gentle boil to allow the eggs to cook and coagulate at the surface forming a raft.
Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to simmer 8 – 10 hours until the desired richness of flavor is reached. Typically, you will reduce the liquid by half. The raft will clarify your stock.
Once you active the desired richness, remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve (I use a fine mesh Chinois) and muslin. Place in quart jars and store for later use. Typially, I get anywhere from 5 – 6 quarts of rich stock out of 2 chicken carcasses.