Chicken Stock

chicken brothI understand that most people are going to reach for a can of chicken broth on a weeknight (and yes, let’s be honest, even on a weekend) but I am hoping that one weekend, when you have a little time on your hands and you plan ahead at the supermarket and pick up some chicken wings and the appropriate vegetables, you will decide to make a batch of the homemade stuff. This amazing homemade head start from Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals is featured on Episode 103 of my public television show, Sara’s Weeknight Meals. The flavor is superior, and because it is made with chicken and bones, it contains gelatin, which contributes body to any recipe you put it in. I have tried boiling down several brands of canned stock to see what happens. If they had actually been made from bones, the liquid would become very viscous after awhile. Instead, I can boil the mixture down until it disappears and pouf, there is nothing left in the pan. My theory is that they simmered water and chicken fat to come up with the flavor in canned stock and then removed the fat. I don’t know how else they got chicken flavor in there. After you make your stock, remove the fat and boil it down by at least one third to concentrate it. Divide the stock up among several resealable plastic bags and freeze it. You will be so happy to have it on hand. We refer to it as liquid gold. This stock will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator or a few months in the freezer.

Start to finish: 3 1/2 hours
Hands on time: 10 minutes
Servings: 16, makes about 8 cups

5 pounds chicken wings
2 medium onions, quartered
2 small carrots, halved
2 celery stalks, halved
4 rinsed and dried fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
2 rinsed and dried fresh thyme sprigs
1 Turkish bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Rinse the chicken wings. Put them in a stockpot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the mixture just to a boil over high heat, skimming and discarding the surface skim with a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, skimming frequently, for 20 minutes.Add the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns; simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Strain the stock and skim off all the fat that rises to the surface. (Alternately, cool the stock and refrigerate it overnight. The fat will harden on top of the stock and is much easier to remove.)Return the stock to the pot and simmer until reduced by one third, about 30 minutes. Divide the stock among several resealable plastic bags and freeze it.
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7 Responses to Chicken Stock

  1. Sara Moulton says:

    My PBS show still airs on Create TV sometimes and I am very close to getting funding for season two. I also appear on GMA from time to time.
    But there was nothing like that live show…

  2. Jeffrey Tibjash says:

    I like to make stock inthe oven.
    I usually buy the inexpensive 10lb bags of leg quarters ( sometimes deboneing the thighs for later meals.
    I rinse them under cold water add cut up celery carrots and onions w the skins for color
    Add all this to my regular old enameled roaster with any herbs or other flavorings ,cover with water and lid.

    Roast for hours at 220 at least 4-5 . It takes a while for the contents to get to a cooking temp.
    Makes great stock nothing to watch, perfect temp.

  3. marvin rains says:

    why dry the parsley and thyme when you are going to just put them in the pot?
    I make stock often and find that turkey necks on sale make a good stock. I usually add other cuts but they are a good bony base. Wings can get pricey. Thanks Sara. Just found your show on pbs again. Great to have you back.

  4. Linda says:

    Sara, my question is this: can your recipe for chicken stock be make in the crock pot? Your shows are always a great learning adventure. Thanks for all you do.

  5. Laura says:

    When making chicken stock do I leave the lid on or off during the simmering time.

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