A lot of people may think that homemade chicken stock doesn’t belong on a food blog. They’d be wrong. Good cooking requires good ingredients, and neither bland chicken water that comes in a can nor dehydrated chicken product that comes in a foil-wrapped cube qualify as good ingredients.
Making your own high-quality chicken stock will transform your cooking. The bland chicken water that you usually buy from the store just doesn’t compare.
Using this recipe, your chicken stock will be so rich that it’ll turn into jelly at room temperature.
In fact, if it doesn’t turn into jelly at room temperature, it’s a good indicator that it’s not going to have any flavor.
When buying your ingredients for your stock, buy a mix of chicken necks, wings, backs, and feet.
You read that right.
If you can’t find them, ask your butcher to order some for you. They are the magic ingredient that’ll take your stock from good to great. Chicken feet have an enormous amount of collagen in them that adds a silky richness to your stock that you just can’t get any other way (it also appears to be very good for you).
Before throwing the chicken feet into the pot, I like to slash a line or two across the skin so that the simmering water can more easily penetrate down to the bones and allows the collagen to escape into the stock.
If you absolutely can’t find chicken feet, just substitute more necks, wings, and backs.
One final note on my stock: Many recipes suggest that you should clarify your stock. I don’t bother clarifying it unless I’m making consommé. All that stuff that makes it cloudy also contributes to flavor. I want that in there when I’m using it as a base for other dishes.
Homemade Chicken Stock
- 8 lbs. chicken bones - backs, wings, necks, etc.
- 2 lbs. chicken feet - skin slashed
- 6 quarts water
- 2 medium carrots - peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 3 medium leeks - white and light green parts only; washed and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 medium yellow onion - peeled and quartered
- 4 large garlic cloves - peeled and smashed
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Thoroughly rinse all of the bones in the sink, as well as your vegetables. Tie the rosemary and thyme sprigs together with butcher's twine.
- Add the chicken bones to the water in your stockpot and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off any fat and impurities that rise to the surface. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer on low for 5 hours.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a heat-proof container. Discard solids. Place stock in the sink with enough ice around its container to cool it down. Using your fat skimmer, remove any fat that rises to the surface and discard it.
- Ladle the stock into 3-4 cup freezer-safe containers. The stock will keep up to 6 months in the freezer.