Chicken Stock

This weekend, I decided to make some chicken stock to have on hand, especially with cold season fast approaching, fast chicken noodle soup will probably be a very desirable meal. While this particular batch isn’t quite as nice as the last batch we made, it’s certainly nicer than the stuff in the box.

Chicken Stock
1 large onion
4-5 medium carrots
4-5 celery stalks
1-2 leeks, depending on size-the ones in the stores here were pretty ragged, so I needed two to get a decent amount of undamaged leek
~15 springs of both parsley and thyme
4 pounds of chicken bits-since I didn’t have any saved chicken carcases, I just opted for mostly wings and a few thighs- although in the future, I think I’ll just use a whole chicken
10-15 whole peppercorns
2-3 dried bay leaves
Water

Clean veggies, and break them into chunks (no find cutting needed). Put the chicken in the pot, put the veggies on the chicken, put the herbs and pepper in, and pour cold water over until about 1 inch above the top of the veggies. Bring to a simmer, and let cook uncovered for 6-8 hours, skimming scum and adding water as needed. When finished, strain (I used two mesh colanders with cheesecloth lining), cool, package and freeze.

Since this batch for some reason wasn’t as flavorful as I was hoping, despite the 7 hours of simmering, the next day I reduced it by about 1/2 (around 3 hours boiling). The result is much nicer (and easier to store).

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3 comments on “Chicken Stock

  1. Anna says:

    I find that 3 hours on simmer for chicken stock is more than enough. For beef I might go for 4 if I feel motivated or have a burner that does nothing…
    I got a nice stewing hen at the farmers’market last Saturday that is sitting in the freezer for stock purposes. Chicken noodle soup season is definitely here…

  2. Chris says:

    Anna,

    What is the deal with getting the collagen out of the bones and into the soup? Alton Brown’s show on stock said it was the absolute bare simmer, starting cold and brining the temp up with the parts in the water. We did that, and we got nowhere near the level of gelatin-y goodness out of it that he ended up with on the show.

    BTW – Katie got me a copy of “The Professional Chef” for my birthday, its very textbook like, and is a product of the CIA. Very cool book if you’ve not seen it.

  3. Anna says:

    Oooo…need to look for that one, thanks for the recommendation. Speaking of books: A few months ago I got Clifford Wright’s Mediterranean Feast (the one that got the Baird Prize a few years’back) for half the cover price at Half Price Books–the recipes are awesome (as is the weight of the book…), he gets the historical background totally skewed, but the little anecdotes are also good. Recommending only if you can get it at a discount.
    Re-slow simmer; it works for me every time I make beef stock, I don’t fret with chicken–must be too delicate or different chicken types, although free-range hens seems to work better than the Tyson plant creatures in that regard.
    With the beef, I always used a chuck roast piece (rump if you can afford it) and beef bones as well,in cold water with some peppercorns and one onion,plus some sea salt, slowly raising the temp, then setting it to a bare simmer (‘slow,pearly boiling’ my Dad and grandma specified it to me when I learned to make it), skimming the first time it boils, then just let it cook for about 3 hours, 4 if I am really comfortable, putting in all vegetables (whatever I have, but usually carrots, parsnips, kohlrabi and celeriac root if you can find it) about an hour before finish.
    With chicken I barely go over 2 hours, but the stock by nature is much thinner than the beef.
    You guys have no idea how cool is the fact that both of you are foodies and are interested in the techniques as well…it is very rare. đŸ™‚

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