I’ve been making homemade chicken stock for years, but recently I’ve had to up my chicken stock game. In the past, I’ve simply collected all the chicken remnants from roasting and eating a whole chicken, then thrown those into a pot with a bay leaf and maybe some veggies and herbs (if there were any in the fridge at the time of stock-making!). I’d cover all the bones in water, simmer them for several hours (usually until bedtime). I’d then use this haphazardly made stock for all our homemade soups, or for straight-up drinking to ward off a cold.
This winter, however, I decided to really dig into what makes a great chicken stock. With the addition of a commercial kitchen to our farm stand, and the plan to sell grab-and-go soups and salads, I knew I wanted the BEST soups and salads possible. And what’s one of the keys to a delicious soup? Homemade stock made from good bones. So I turned to Mastering Stocks and Broths by Rachel Mamane, a book Joel Salatin describes as “the most definitive encyclopedia on stocks, sauces, and broths.”
This chicken stock recipe comes from Mamane’s Basic Chicken Stock. We’ve made some changes, like switching out the herbs and leeks for whatever herbs and alliums we have growing on the farm at the time of stock-making. We’ve also increased the water by 50%. Because we’re committed to using local, pasture-raised chicken necks and backs, but we’re also committed to making our soups affordable for our local community, we decided to increase the water to get more stock from the necks/backs. After multiple taste tests, we feel the stock is still delicious and we think you will too!
Try this stock in our Summer Soup, Thai Curry Noodle Bowl, Sausage, Potato, and Greens Soup, or any of the other soups on our Farm Blog. Don’t feel like cooking? Stop in at our farm stand and try our prepared soups, made with our own homemade chicken stock!
- Large pot
- fine mesh strainer
- 6 lbs chicken backs and necks *see note
- 8 qts water
- 1 lb onions peeled and quartered (use some leeks or green onions too if they happen to be in season)
- 1/2 lb carrots cut in large dice
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 sprigs flat leaf parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- Place everything except the vinegar into the stock pot. Slowly bring to a simmer, skimming and discarding any impurities that rise to the top.
- Add vinegar. Keep stock at a very gentle simmer for 5-8 hours and continue skimming when impurities rise to the top. This will keep the fat from emulsifying into the stock and preserve the clean, rich flavor.
- Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer and discard remains. Use right away, or freeze in quart ball jars or plastic containers for future soup-making.