Soups, Stews, and Chilies

Homemade Chicken Stock


8 Servings

  • 4 pounds whole chicken
  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 large onions, cut into 8 wedges each
  • 3 medium stalks celery, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 medium leek (white and tender green), trimmed, rinsed thoroughly, and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Rinse the chicken well under cold running water. Place in a large stockpot, add the water, and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the scum as it rises to the top. As soon as the water boils, reduce the heat to a simmer; if it continues to boil, the stock will be cloudy.

Add the onions, celery, carrots, leek(s), garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. If necessary, add enough additional water to cover the ingredients by at least 1 inch.

Simmer the stock, only partially covered, for 3½ to 4 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. If there is more than 2 quarts (8 cups), pour into a clean pot and boil until reduced to concentrate the flavor.

Let the stock cool, then refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours or overnight. Lift off and discard the fat that congeals on the surface. If not used within 3 days, transfer to individual containers or heavy-duty plastic bags and freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes 2 quarts.


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