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Chicken Stock from Scratch

Making chicken stock from scratch is a pretty simple process. I love it because I go through a TON of stock, especially this time of year when soups are often on the menu.

What is chicken stock?

Chicken stock is made using a whole chicken or leftover scraps from a chicken. You combine these in a pot with vegetables, water, and spices, then you let it cook for several hours.

What results is a nutrient dense, flavorful liquid that is the main ingredient in soups and stews. Stock can be used to make rich and delicious rice, quinoa, couscous, etc.

You can make stock from any type of animal bones including beef, pork, lamb, turkey, etc.

Why make your own chicken stock?

There are a few reasons why you might want to make your own chicken stock.

  • It’s easy. Once you combine all the ingredients the stock sits and simmers mostly unattended. The whole process takes about a half hour of you actually being there.
  • You know your ingredients. Just like any food made from scratch, you have complete control over what is going into your chicken stock.
  • It uses the whole chicken. It is very important to me that we utilize just about every part of the animals we butcher. To utilize the whole chicken is respectful of the life that was sacrificed for this food.
  • Cost Effective. No need to spend money on stock when you can make it from what we normally would throw away or composted.
how to make chicken stock rough and tumble farmhouse

What ingredients and supplies do I need to make chicken stock?

Ingredients

You can change this up depending on what vegetables and spices might be fresh in your garden. Here’s what I used for this stock:

  • Leftover parts from 4 chickens
  • 1 Cup rough chopped onion
  • 1 cup rough chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup rough chopped celery
  • 3 Cloves of garlic
  • Pinch of thyme
  • 1/2 a bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley leaf
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 quarts of water
cooking spices rough and tumble farmhouse

Supplies

To make your own stock you will need:

  • Large Stock Pot
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mesh Strainer (or some cheesecloth and a larger holed strainer)
  • Jars or freezer bags for storage
  • Optional – Pressure Canner

How do I preserve chicken stock?

Fresh made chicken stock can be preserved one of three ways: refrigerate, freeze, or pressure can.

The stock will keep in the fridge for about 4-5 days. If I plan to use the stock soon, I pour it into a mason jar and stick it in the fridge.

If I know I won’t use it soon and I have the freezer space, I pour the cooled stock into freezer bags. Then I lay them flat in the freezer so they are in a thin and stackable shape.

If you want to store the stock long term, then it must be processed in a pressure canner. Do not hot water bath chicken stock.

Jill Winger over at the Prairie Homestead has step-by-step instructions for canning chicken. The same steps would apply to pressure canning stock.

chicken for stock rough and tumble farmhouse

How to Make Chicken Stock from Scratch

First gather your ingedients as listed above.

Wash the carrots and celery. Rough chop the carrot, onion, and celery. No need to peel the onions. You want one cup of carrot, one cup of onion, and a half cup of celery.

chopping onions rough and tumble farmhouse

Crush the cloves of garlic with a knife, no need to peel these either.

Add all the vegetables and the garlic to a large stock pot.

Add in the chicken bits. Total you want 3-4 pounds worth.

making homemade chicken stock rough and tumble farmhouse

Snap a bay leaf in half, then toss that the pot with the thyme, parsley, and salt.

Pour in about four quarts of water.

Place the stock on the stove and bring it to a boil. Partially cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Cook until you can scoop out a chicken bone and all the meat easy falls off and all the bones break apart from from one another. That’s when you know it is done.

boiling chicken stock rough and tumble farmhouse
This is a full boil. I turned it down to a low simmer once it reached this point.

Next, strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer or a colander with cheese cloth. Really squeeze and press to get every last bit of liquid out.

Add salt or other seasonings to taste.

Let cool. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days, freeze in a freezer ziploc or mason jar, or process in a pressure canner accordingly.

Need a recipe to utilize that stock? Make a batch of chicken dumpling soup!

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how to make chicken stock from scratch-rough and tumble farmhouse

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