I originally learned how to make chicken stock from Ina Garten, and the list of ingredients that I use is almost the same as her recipe. However, over time, I have changed the process for how I make it.
If you follow my recipe and instructions, not only will you end up with quarts of chicken stock, but you will have pre-cooked chicken for your meals for the week! I love any recipe modification that will add tasty prepped food and reduce waste. =)
- 3 large yellow onions, quartered with skin on
- 6 carrots, unpeeled and cut in large chunks
- 4 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
- 4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in large chunks
- 20 sprigs fresh parsley
- 15 sprigs fresh thyme
- 20 sprigs fresh dill
- 3 heads garlic, cut in half across with skin on
- 2 T kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 t whole black peppercorns
- 15 lbs bone in chicken*
Place all ingredients in the largest pot that you have, (at least 16 quarts,) with the chicken on top. Add cold water to the pot to cover the chicken by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil, and reduce to simmer.
Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour. After the hour, turn off the heat on the stove. Carefully remove the chicken pieces from the pot and place on a baking sheet. Set the baking sheet aside and allow the chicken to cool. Turn the stove back on to medium, to keep the stock simmering.
While the chicken cools, prepare 3 bowls. One for discarding, one for cooked chicken meat, and another for the bones that will be returning to the chicken stock. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, break down your chicken. Discard all skin and fatty pieces, save your cooked chicken meat, and return all bones back to your simmering stock and cover with the lid.
Allow stock to simmer for 5-8 more hours, skimming the top for foam every couple of hours. One hour before finishing, taste the stock for seasoning. Add more salt or pepper if needed. Simmer the last hour uncovered.
After simmering the stock, turn off the heat, and allow the stock to cool for about 30 minutes.
This is a large, heavy pot! You can strain this by picking up the pot and straining it through a strainer into a large pot in the sink. If you are not as strong as me, or half as clumsy, you may want to use my extra step: use a hand held strainer to pull the solids out of the pot before you have to lift the entire pot. You will still need to strain the stock through a large strainer into a large pot in the sink, but it will be much lighter.
*15 total pounds of bone in chicken pieces, or whole chicken will work. For best results, use two- 5-8 pound whole chickens, and 5 pounds of chicken carcass / bones.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.