It's possible that everyone in the universe is fully aware how simple it is to make chicken stock. But I didn't. My sister used to tell me, "It's easy! Just throw the chicken in a pot with....other stuff. It'll be fine! Just do it!" Instead, I pinned "Easiest Chicken Stock" recipes, and researched Food Network, and continued to buy Swanson's Chicken Broth at Publix. The first day that I took the leap and made chicken stock, I felt like I'd arrived. I was domestic. My home was full of the fragrance of love and happiness. PLUS it saves a boat load of money! Not only do you get seven or eight quarts of the best tasting stock of all time, you also get the chicken! Win-win.
Here's the run-down.
I like to grab an organic chicken. I don't know why...something tells me it's probably not that much better for you. I mean, what is Publix's definition of organic? Maybe I should start raising chickens. I've been watching too many Netflix documentaries.
Next, unwrap (and remove the bag of innards if applicable....thankfully this chicken doesn't have that added prize), rinse off, and plop that chicken in the biggest pot you've got. My stock pot is 9 quarts. I wish it was like, 90 quarts.
I wash my carrots and celery, but don't peel the carrots. Just chop them up into big chunks and throw them in.
Same with the onions. But peel those.
Now take that head of garlic and chop the whole thing in half. Now throw the whole thing in. Just do it.
Okay, now the spices. You should end up with a pot full of goodness, like this.
All that's left is to fill 'er up with water!
Bring it to a boil over high heat, then turn it down to medium-ish to simmer for a few hours. Honestly, the time depends on how big your bird is. I usually leave it for three hours. Just make sure the chicken is done, and you're good to go. Every once in a while I add more water to keep the pot full.
Just FYI, you can also do this in your slow cooker. I've done it overnight on low for eight hours, or on high for four hours. Only drawback in my mind is that my slow cooker is only six quarts, which makes me feel cheated...
When it's all done, let things cool down just a bit, then strain the stock into a large bowl. Forgot to snap a picture of this step, but I just use a strainer like this:
Toss out the vegetables, but save the chicken! You can shred it up to use in the soup you're making, or freeze it. You can use the stock immediately, but I prefer to put it in the refrigerator over night. In the morning, it'll look like this. Appetizing, right?
It's just fat and it won't kill you. But I like to scrape most of it off, so you get something that looks a little more like this.
Then use it! Or keep it in your fridge for three or four days, or freeze it for six months or so. Though, it won't last that long...unless you're crazy and don't like fantastic-ness. I typically use freezer Ziploc bags to store it.
So there you have it! Super easy, but life changing. Depending on how boring and/or un-domesticated your life is...
Here's the full recipe. Click here to print!
- 1 Whole (organic) Chicken
- 2 Large Carrots
- 2 Stalks of Celery
- 2 Onions
- 1 Head of Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon of Salt
- 1 Tablespoon of Pepper (I like to use whole peppercorns)
- 2 Teaspoons dried Dill Weed
- 2 Teaspoons dried Thyme
Rinse whole chicken and place in a large stock pot. Roughly chop carrots, celery and onion and place in pot. Cut the entire head of garlic in half and add to the pot. Add all of the spices, then fill the pot with water. Bring to a boil on high, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked - about three hours.
Let cool slightly, then strain chicken stock into a large bowl. Discard vegetables and shred chicken for another use. Refrigerate stock over night to easily skim the fat off. Refrigerate three to four days, or freeze for up to six months.