How to make chicken stock
Do you ever find yourself stuck at home without a stock cube to hand? We’ve all been there! This homemade chicken stock is so easy to do and well worth-it. Use leftover chicken bones from a roast or even fresh chicken wings for an economical, easy batch-cook. Pop in the freezer and use as needed.
How to make chicken stock should be something everyone learns. It’s one of those basic cooking skills that will take you places! Once you’ve learnt this skill you’ll be cooking up a whole range of fancy things (see ‘what to do with chicken stock’ below). Try this Bhutanese chicken stew for starters!
Make a batch of my white chicken stock and freeze it (see ‘how to freeze chicken stock’ below) in portions, so you’re never far away from a healthy lunch or dinner.
Chicken stock is really simple to make too. It’s certainly not a recipe only reserved for top chefs! Chicken stock is something that has been a staple in kitchens for decades and decades however It does require a bit of patience and time.
Why should I make homemade chicken stock?
- Minimum effort
- Learn a new skill
Debunking crucial stock questions!
Chicken stock vs chicken broth
Ah, the thing that confuses most people! It’s quite simple actually. Chicken STOCK is made from chicken bones and is a lot lighter. And chicken BROTH is made from meat that is on the bone and is darker in colour usually – although mine is quite brown due to the herbs and concentration of water to chicken.
Brown stock vs white chicken stock
Another simple answer. Brown chicken stock is made from meat and vegetables that have been fried or roasted, creating a deeper colour from the browning. White chicken stock bones are not browned at all; they are cooked in the stock as they are.
To make this white stock with chicken, you’ll need the following (see recipe card for exact measurements):
Chicken wings or a chicken carcass – using a less meaty part of the chicken is what keeps this recipe as ‘stock’ and not ‘broth’. Try and source yours from a local butcher if you can.
Bouquet Garni – gather up a tablespoon each of dried parsley, thyme, rosemary and 2 bay leaves; mix together and bundle up in a cheese cloth tied with twine.
30 mins + 3 hr 30 mins proving.
4 hrs 20 mins
How to make chicken stock
Step 1 – Put your chicken wings into the stock pot and cover with the water. If you need more to cover, that’s ok. The main thing is to ensure it’s fully covered. Leave to boil for a few minutes.
Step 2 – Skim any scum (foam) off the surface using your slotted spoon. Discard the scum in a bowl.
Step 3 – Add the chopped veg, garlic and bouquet garni. Turn the heat down low and leave to gently simmer for 2 hours. Skim off the scum every now and then.
Step 4 – Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl. You should have about 500 ml of stock. Pour into your jars and leave to cool before refridgerating/freezing.
Equipment needed for chicken stock
I would recommend a large stainless steel stock pot, a mesh skimmer or a slotted spoon for skimming, and a fine sieve for straining the stock at the end.
How to store and freeze chicken stock
Chicken stock will keep in the fridge, in a lidded container, for 4-5 days.
Alternatively you can freeze it by pouring into reusable ziplock freezer bags. If you require smaller amounts, you could also pour into ice cube trays, however I can’t imagine a time when you’d need an amount that small! Mason jars, glass and plastic Tupperware are all sufficient too, as long as the lid is secure. Personally I’d only keep chicken stock in the freezer for 2-3 months.
How to use Chicken Stock Leftovers
You’ve got your chicken stock but what are you going to make with it? White chicken stock can be made into SO MANY tasty lunches and dinners. The fanciest of all is the French veloute: a sauce made from a roux and light stock, typically eaten with seafood and poultry.
Maybe you need a gravy for your roast dinner? Why not make a chicken jus! Chicken jus is also made with light chicken stock, as well as chicken and vegetables that have been fried. The whole things is simmered and strained to create a fine, rich gravy.
For a tastier rice, try cooking it in some chicken stock instead of water. You’ll have a much tastier rice as a result!
And finally, a base for a good old noodle soup. Add spring onions, Chinese greens such as bok choy and sliced ginger and you’ve got yourself a meal! Oh and don’t forget the noodles!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the questions you’ve been asking, answered!
What type of bones can I use for chicken stock?
I’d recommend using a chicken carcass as this is where you’ll find the most flavour due to the fat, bone and the little bit of meat left on it. You can also using chicken wings or wing tips but please use those with hardly any meat or else it’ll end up like a broth.
Where can I buy chicken bones?
My recipe uses chicken wings as it’s a cut of the chicken which is not very meaty at all.
However if you would prefer to go traditional and use chicken bones, you should check first in the supermarket. You might have some luck at the meat counter. If not try your local butcher as they are bound to have bones for chicken stock.
If all else fails, buy a whole chicken and take off the wings and strip the chicken of the meat, leaving behind the carcass. You can use this whole in the stock.
Can I use different vegetables in my chicken stock?
Of course! Feel free to use whatever you can find in your fridge. Different vegetables will create a different flavour stock but yes, yes you can.
Is this stock suitable for vegetarians and vegans?
No because it contains chicken wings. You can make this a vegetable stock instead by simply omitting the chicken.
Is chicken stock stock gluten-free?
Yes, chicken does not contain wheat. This chicken stock is gluten-free. It’s commercially prepared stock cubes that you have to be careful with. Read the ingredients label to be sure.
Can I reheat chicken stock?
You can reheat chicken stock but as it contains chicken, I’d recommend reheating it well. The best way to reheat chicken stock would be in in a pan until steaming.
Chicken stock tips
Make sure you have your jars ready and clean for storing your stock once cooked! If you made too much, store in ice cube trays, ready to pop out and into dishes, injecting flavour as needed.
How to make chicken stock
- 7 chicken wings or a small chicken carcass
- 1 litre of water
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 onion
- 1 celery
- 1/2 leek
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 bouquet garni
- Put your chicken wings into the stock pot and cover with the water. If you need more to cover, that's ok. The main thing is to ensure it's fully covered. Leave to boil for a few minutes.
- Skim any scum (foam) off the surface using your slotted spoon. Discard the scum in a bowl.
- Add the chopped veg, garlic and bouquet garni. Turn the heat down low and leave to gently simmer for 2 hours. Skim off the scum every now and then.
- Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl. You should have about 500 ml of stock. Pour into your jars and leave to cool before refridgerating/freezing.
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