For years, I was buying both vegetable and chicken broths/stocks. As a side note, apparently some people use the words "broth" and "stock" interchangeably. However, while I was doing research on this topic, I found out that a broth is made by using meat, while a stock uses bones (or a combination of meat and bones). Because of the gelatin released from the bones during the cooking process, it is naturally thicker and more flavorful. Yum!
Without further ado, here is my super easy recipe for delicious homemade chicken stock!
Homemade Chicken Stock
2 - 3 chickens, or chicken parts (equalling about 10 lbs. total)
Homemade Vegetable Broth (recipe here)
Storebought Vegetable Broth
Any combination of onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and herbs (such as parsley, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, etc.)
Kosher salt, to taste
Whole black peppercorns, 1 - 2 tsp.
1. Place the chicken in a large stockpot.
Note: Whole chickens are perfect for stock, but in these pictures, I used 10 lbs. of chicken parts that were on sale!
2. If you are using vegetable broth, add to the stockpot. If necessary, add enough water to cover the chicken.
3. If you are using the vegetables and herbs, add them to the stockpot and cover with water.
Note: Placing the herbs and veggies in cheesecloth will make them much easier to remove later.
4. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for a minimum of 4 hours. Skim the "fluffy stuff" off the top.
5. Strain the contents of the pot. Reserve the chicken and discard the vegetables and herbs, if using.
7. Meanwhile, shred the reserved chicken and use however you like. I love using it in the chicken soup!
8. The next day, remove the surface fat by skimming with a large spoon.
9. You may use the stock immediately or freeze. Bon appetit!
Personally, I always freeze half of the stock and half of the chicken. That means, the next time I want to make chicken soup, I just have to dice up some veggies and throw it into the pot with my thawed stock and chicken.
Also, depending on what you make with the stock, you may want to dilute it with some water to thin the consistency or blunt the taste a bit. On the flip side, you may decide to add more salt and pepper for your soup. The beauty is that you can control your flavors and sodium intake, all while making stock that is sooo much better than what you'll buy at the store.
So that's it! Easy, right? It's basically just covering chicken with water and boiling for a few hours with whatever veggies and herbs you might want to throw in. Skim the surface and you have some amazing stock to use in any recipe! Yes, it takes a while, but it's all hands off "cooking" and if you use my recipe for vegetable broth, it doesn't even involve a knife and cutting board. Super simple!
What item do you make that is so delicious that you'll never buy storebought again?