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How to Make Chicken Stock Without a Recipe

By • February 10, 2014 • 24 Comments

Here at Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

Today: Jennifer Steinhauer (our weeknight dinner savior) shows us the secrets to the best DIY chicken stock.

How to Make Chicken Stock Without a Recipe from Food52

I am generally not a do-it-yourself-or-die kind of girl. Pre-cut veggies? Knock yourself out. I do not make my own yogurt. Given my druthers, I will buy pancetta that someone else has chopped.

But when possible, I do believe you should use homemade stock, simply for the work-to-pleasure ratio. Homemade stock is easy, delicious, and flexible. By freezing it in one cup portions, you never have the waste issue with opening a box of stock.

My method differs from others in one key way: I put all the veggies save the onion in at the end instead of cooking them with the chicken for hours, so as to maintain that cluck cluck flavor.

How to Make Chicken Stock Without a Recipe

1. Brown chicken in oil -- chopped up ax murderer-style to get marrow. If you are using a turkey or chicken carcass, just dump it in here. The leftover herbs will be great.

How to Make Chicken Stock Without a Recipe from Food52

More: See how to turn a pot of stock into 5 dinners.

 

2. Add quartered onion skin on, a splash of white wine if you're feeling fancy and a bay leaf. Cover with water -- just above the chicken no more.

How to Make Chicken Stock Without a Recipe from Food52

 

3. Simmer for three or four hours, skim if you see foam; you want to reduce by at least a quarter, half is even better -- you can't really cook it too long.

How to Make Chicken Stock Without a Recipe from Food52

 

4. Now add celery, carrots, and parsley and cook 5 minutes.

How to Make Chicken Stock Without a Recipe from Food52

 

5. Strain.

How to Make Chicken Stock Without a Recipe from Food52

 

6. If possible, leave in the fridge overnight, skim the fat and freeze it for making matzoh balls. Store in 1/2, 1, and 2-cup portions in heavy freezer Ziplocks.

How to Make Chicken Stock Without a Recipe from Food52

We're looking for contributors! Email [email protected] and tell us the dish you make in your sleep, without a recipe.

Photos by James Ransom

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Tags: how-to & diy, chicken stock, chicken, stock, everyday cooking, soups, winter

Comments (24)

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5 months ago Midge

I've long been confused by the bagillion different methods of stock-making but I just followed yours for matzoh ball soup and it is lovely and rich and golden. Thank you Jennie!

Stringio

5 months ago Terry Manahan

How much chicken and what kind of cuts? The recipe doesn't say.

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5 months ago Constance Barrett Ferrar

OMG. Just Chicken with carrots and celery and onions. Bring to boil, skim, simmer 1hr. Remove chicken, remove meat from bone. Preserve chicken, add bones and skin back to broth. Simmer over night. Drain. Refridge and then skim fat. Save fat for other organic pursuits. Keep broth, to be used within one week, or freeze in containers. Done this for decades.



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5 months ago Todd S

Yeah, um, this is still a recipe. Also, "you never have the waste issue with opening a box of stock?" Because nobody owns a refrigerator, boxed broth is literally impossible to freeze in one-cup portions, and chicken stock is so rarely used in cooking?

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5 months ago Edgar H

Random thought - try freezing your stock in ice cube trays. Once frozen, you break them out and toss into a heavy Ziploc bag for long term storage. This allows you to add as little or as much as you want to your dishes!

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5 months ago Mark Oviatt

This would work well. We always make a big batch of turkey stock after Thanksgiving. We put the stock in plastic containers and freeze for long term storage.

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5 months ago wullie the dug

Edgar, an even easier way is to use ice cube bags, and pour the cooled stock into these and freeze. You don't need to double handle them, and the bags lie flat in the freezer, taking up little room. You just need to tear off a cube or two when you cook.

Stringio

5 months ago Zollar Lee

If this isn't a recipe I'm a monkeys uncle/

Stringio

5 months ago Arthur Doucette

Similar to the way I make mine.
Less meat, as I'm almost always using the bones from Chicken breasts (My local store periodically sells bone on chicken breasts for as low as 99c a lb), but I put the carrots in with the onions, only the "greens" are added for the last 10 minutes. (5 seems to short to me)
What I do know is it is simple to make and yet it makes a GREAT broth and I love having a half dozen in Ziploc bags in the freezer for use.

Stringio

5 months ago M. Viviana Proano

Josie D: Is your stock coming to a boil. If it boils it breaks up fat and impurities into the stock. To get the clear, golden color keep at a simmer so that the impurities do not break apart and can be skimmed off from the top.

Stringio

5 months ago M. Viviana Proano

Hmmmm….it seems that the chicken in the pictures has the meat still on it and that would make this broth, stock by definition is made from the bones, mirepoix and aromatics. The addition of meat or would make this broth.

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5 months ago wullie the dug

By definition, aren't the instructions on stock making without a recipe....well...a recipe?

I have tried an anchovy, or 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of fish sauce or Oyster sauce in some stews and find it adds a very subtle depth to the finished dish. I'd be tempted to try the same with this stock due to the long simmer time.

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5 months ago Tania Scutt

I use the microwave for a speedy (less energy) version. I tear up my chicken carcasse so that it fits into my largest glass bowl with lid. Squish onion (skin on) and carrots/celery into the gaps, add a few black peppercorns and a bayleaf. Fill with water. Microwave for 3 bursts of 6 minutes (the highest button on my appliance!). This makes my kitchen smell less than the stove top method. I think I'm getting the same effect - the stock is very good.

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5 months ago issybee

I always use one parsnip and one turnip to give it a mysterious depth of flavor that is unsurpassed. Roasting the vegetables is nice, but for lowest maintenance throwing them all in together still yields a delicious stock well above the store bought variety.

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6 months ago Mark Oviatt

From Anthony Bourdain - Instead of cooking the parts in oil, roast all the parts in the oven. It lowers the amount of oil you have to skim off. You can also add some turmeric for extra color and a little taste.

_mg_0362

5 months ago Jestei

that sounds great

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5 months ago ChezBeekeeper

Roast bones and all, throw in the neck and giblets. Break up the large bones to release the marrow. Sprinkle with salt prior to roasting. I like to start with a cold oven so the bones come up to temp and the fat melts some, but the main idea is to get some char going. Once roasted, put into COLD water and bring up to slow simmer for as many hours as you can. The whole process is designed to extract the chicken flavor, not cook the chicken. So, small crunched up bones do great to release that chicken greatness!

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6 months ago JosieD

So interesting! I've been making my own stock for a while now but am stymied by cloudy, greyish color. The taste has been great, but that golden color has been eluding me. Last minute veggies! So brilliant!

_mg_0362

5 months ago Jestei

sometimes the grey color comes from letting it aggressively boil which stirs up all that scum into the broth; also the golden color is aided by the onion skins

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5 months ago ChezBeekeeper

Try dropping in the dried shells from a couple eggs to help clarify your stock. Simmer thirty minutes or so then let sit. The stock should clear. You're welcome. ..

Akcollage

6 months ago christina@afroditeskitchen

this looks great. I love learning how to make good chicken stock, as it's so key in so many recipes and a freezer favourite of mine. And it's so true - once I don't need a recipe, I make a dish more often! Thank you for this recipe!

_mg_0362

5 months ago Jestei

you bet

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6 months ago david patrick

very similar to the the broth recipe for chicken and dumplings in cooks illustrated. It's been my go to quick stock recipe.

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6 months ago Jestei

i believe adding veggies at the end is a tom c favorite technique as well.