The method for making chicken stock

The method for making chicken stock

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  1. Versatility

    Next to water, chicken stock is the single most versatile liquid in the kitchen. It goes into sauces and soups. You can use it to cook vegetables, and in fact, darn near anything you boil in water can be boiled in chicken stock and the result will be better than if you had used simple water for cooking. The beauty of chicken stock is that it will improve any savory dish you may concoct while being very simple and very easy to make.

     Not that arduous

    Step one is to get a chicken. You want a whole chicken, and you will be making a roasted chicken for supper, which I am sure comes as a bit of a surprise, but I look at it as a bonus. The dinner is a nice fringe benefit to the arduous task of making the stock, which, to be honest, is not that arduous.

    Don’t sweat 

    To roast the chicken, turn on your oven to 350 degrees or so, and let it get hot while you put a generous amount of salt and pepper onto the chicken. Other seasoning options include granulated garlic, and some herbs like thyme and sage would be fine, but simple salt, pepper and garlic will get the job done. Put the seasoned chicken onto a bed of roughly chopped onion, celery and carrot. Use one onion and then amounts of celery and carrot that are equal to the onion. No need for measuring perfection, so don’t sweat it too much.

    Thighs and joints

    Put the chopped vegetables into a roasting pan, place the chicken on top of the veggies and pop it into the oven for about an hour. Chicken doneness can be a bit tricky. You’re supposed to get a temperature of 165 degrees at the joint of the thigh and main body of the chicken. I usually look at the chicken and if it appears crisp and brown I will then cut the thigh until I can pull it open to see if there is any color in the chicken’s juices. If there is red color, I put the bird back in the oven for another ten minutes and then re-test.

    Eat chicken; save bones

    Once it’s cooked, eat the chicken and save all the bones. The bones will go into a pot with the roughly chopped onion, carrot and celery, and then you will cover the bones and veggies with water. Scrape the roasting pan well, and use some water to pull all the flavor from the pan and add it to the pot. Put the pot on the stove and put a fire beneath it. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat until the water just barely swirls in the pot with a gentle simmering motion. Top off the pot with water before you go to bed and let the stock simmer over night.

    Contributions made

    In the morning you may strain the liquid and skim fat from it. Toss out the bones, veggies and fat. Each has made its contribution and may be retired. If you would like, it’s okay to put the stock back on the stove and boil it to reduce its volume so that it fits in the fridge better. When it cools, it will be chicken flavored gelatin.


    Use it whenever a recipe calls for chicken broth. It makes a good liquid start for cream soups as well as – what else? – chicken soup. Add it to sausage gravy and marvel at the difference it makes.


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