I recently made homemade vegetable stock from my frozen vegetable scraps and it was way better than the store bought stuff, so easy and a great way to give those “unusable” vegetables a second chance. Making the vegetable stock inspired me to make my own chicken stock as well, once every couple of months I pick up a couple whole chickens and break them down myself. not only does it save money, like a lot, but that way I can portion and freeze them anyway I want.
It can be an intimidating task to complete, but with the help of a couple YouTube videos, you’ll be a pro. After culinary school it just comes naturally to me and now I see it as a great way to save some cash. But with breaking down your own poultry comes the question of what to do with al the waste? Since technically your paying for the carcass as well, why not put that to use and get more out of it.
You can get as creative as you want with what you add to your stock, typical chicken stock would have a mirepoix blend, carrots, celery and white onion. Too add even more flavor to your stock you can add garlic cloves, fresh herbs like parsley or thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns.
Start by filling a large 6-quart stock pot with your leftover chicken carcasses, leave out any chunks of fat or skin. Add in roughly chopped carrots, onion, celery, sprigs of fresh thyme and one bunch of fresh parsley. Before adding the water add in your bay leaves, salt and whole black peppercorns, fill almost to the top with 5 quarts of water.
Bring the stock to a boil, than lower to medium heat and simmer uncovered for at least 4 hours, in school we would let stocks cook all day, but at home that can be a bit much. After the stock has simmered allow to cool slightly before pouring it through a strainer. Discard all solids and allow stock to cool all the way. At this point you can choose if you want to let it sit over night to skim any fat of the stop, or you can skip that point and portion it into air tight containers and put in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months. Use your homemade chicken stock to add extra flavor to soups and sauces. The best part is you put those extra chicken bones to use!
- 3 chicken carcasses
- 1 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
- 4 carrots, unpeeled and halved
- 4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 2sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- Place the chicken carcasses, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, and seasonings in a 6 quart stockpot. Add 5 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
- Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours.
- Strain stock through a colander and discard the solids. Chill the stock, use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.