I don't think there is a better smell on a chilly Sunday than a pot of simmering chicken stock on the stove. It just makes me feel like all is right with the world.
Making chicken stock is part of my weekly routine in the winter, and you'll find a pot simmering every couple of weeks in the summer. I can't get enough. Besides what's better for cooking than your own stock? You control the quality. You control the salt. You control the flavor. I'll be honest, when I have to buy chicken stock, I'm usually disappointed with the results because they are either too salty or watery.
I've made chicken stock for years, but the quality of my stock dramatically increased about ten years ago after reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Her stock recipe talked about browning the bones. I'd done that for beef stock, but never for chicken stock. Once I did, my mind was blown. 🤯 The depth of flavor, color, and richness took the stock to a new level. Thank you Julia.
Here's how to get started:
The bones of at least one whole chicken. I save my bones in the freezer. When I have enough, I make stock.
2 Tbsp Olive Oil or Canola Oil
2-4 stocks of celery - just snapped in half
2 carrots - snapped in half as well
1 onion - quartered . Another thing I do is save my onion peels from the week’s cooking. They keep fine in the fridge and lend even more flavor and color to the broth.
3 cloves garlic - smashed
I use a combination of thyme, rosemary and sage from my garden. I don’t measure and I do use the stems and all. You can experiment with what you like. Tarragon, parsley and oregano are also delicious.
2 Bay Leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
1 Tbsp celery seed
1 Tbsp ground tumeric (optional, but gives the broth extra flavor and a slightly yellow tinge)
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup white wine (optional)
Water to cover
In a large stock pot, heat oil until shimmering.
Add bones and brown for a couple minutes. It’s ok if stuff sticks to the bottom. You actually want that. (This is per Julia Child herself!)
Add all other ingredients. Stir and saute for a couple minutes being careful not to burn them.
If using wine, add it here and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add water to cover.
Bring to a simmer.
A simmer is when the water is slightly under a boil. You don’t want to boil you stock.
Simmer for 8-10 hours.
I’ve even simmered it for 6-8 hours one day and then returned it to the stove the next for another 6ish hours. Just remember to add liquid if it starts to reduce too much.
Stock can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days or frozen. I usually freeze most of what I make.