Real Homemade Chicken Stock

Tue. March 1, 2011 12:00 AM
by Brad Mercil

One of the things I really enjoy doing is making my own ingredients. When I make my own ingredients I know exactly what has gone into it. You could say that I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to this. Homemade chicken stock is one of my favorite ingredients to make because it meets several requirements.

First, I get control of everything that goes into my stock from how many chicken bones to the amount of onion, garlic and seasonings, fresh Italian parsley and thyme always go into my stock. Second, homemade chicken stock helps me clean out the refrigerator and freezer. Third, and maybe the most important of all, it helps save a few dollars. I've seen organic chicken stock sell for eight dollars a quart at some grocery stores.

The batch of chicken stock that I make costs me less than $6 and yields approximately eight quarts of stock. The chicken bones are collected from previous meals, the parsley and thyme are usually leftover also. The other vegetables, carrots, celery, onions and garlic, all came from Produce World in Morton Grove, IL. This store purchases overstocked produce and will then sells it at a reduced price. Even better, they usually have a few rolling carts with produce that has been substantially reduced due to a few bumps and bruises. I'm real choosy when selecting these items, making sure that they are still fresh. Since I'm going to cook these ingredients right away, I know they're ripe with the imperfections.

I don't really measure the ingredients I use; I just eye it up. After you make stock a few times you get a feel for what are the right measurements for your stock.

So let's get started.....


Homemade Chicken Stock



Chicken bones accumulated from 2 to 3 whole chickens
3 to 4 medium Carrots in size cut in half
4 to 6 stalks Celery cut in half with the leafy ends
1 large Onion quartered
4 to 6 Garlic cloves
2 Bay Leaves
1 handful fresh Thyme with stems
1 handful fresh Italian Parsley with stems
Filtered water - 8 to 12 cups


Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and add filtered water so that it barely covers all of the ingredients. Bring stock to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 hours. Turn heat off and allow stock to cool. Using a strainer remove all of the chicken bones and vegetables. For an even cleaner stock place layers of cheese cloth on top of the strainer and then drain the stock.

Measure stock into one quart containers and freeze. The stock will last approximately six months. If you use small amounts of stock when cooking, pour stock into an ice cube tray. When the stock is frozen, store the cubes in a freezer bag.