There’s no one single way to make chicken stock. Sometimes I do it with odds and ends from a chicken: wings, neck, gizzards, other random bits. But most often, and by far my favorite way to make stock – is to use 2 carcasses of roasted chickens. You roast a chicken and then you wind up with the carcass. Instead of throwing it away, you make that chicken work for you in double time. You can freeze it until you get another chicken carcass, which you then throw together with water and aromatics and cook it for a few hours. There’s very little hands-on time needed – just your presence around the house to keep an eye on the stock. The result – rich and flavorful stock you can’t get from a carton. Plus I get a kick knowing I can use one chicken for two separate purposes.
This is a great way to stretch that chicken further than just one meal. I add little salt here because I want my stock to be as much of a pure distillation of the chicken flavor as possible. Later, when I use stock to make soup, I will add as much salt as the recipe calls for, but this way I get the flexibility on how much seasoning the future soup will need.
Homemade Chicken Stock
2 roasted chicken carcasses
Contents from your “stock bag” (usually it’s a couple of carrots, a few celery stalks, a handful of parsley, dill, thyme, an onion that all happen to accumulate)
2 teaspoons salt
1. Place everything in a stockpot and add enough water to cover the contents. Bring everything to a simmer, skim off the scum, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
2. Fish out the chicken parts (they will have fallen apart by then), the vegetables, and whatever you can of the aromatics. Pour the stock through a fine-mesh strainer and place back in the stock pot. Simmer for another 2 hours, uncovered, or until stock is reduced by about half. Pour into containers, label your stock with a date, and cool to room temperature before freezing. Stock will keep in your freezer for up to 3 months. Remember, this is not an exact science, to taste and experiment as how much you want to reduce your stock. I prefer a more concentrated stock, but some of you might opt for something less so.
Makes roughly 2 quarts.