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Chicken stock tips

Chicken Stock Tips

Making chicken stock from scratch may seem daunting, but it can elevate your home cooking with a few simple steps. Utilizing kitchen scraps like onion peels, carrot ends, and celery leaves, along with chicken bones, can turn what would be waste into a rich, flavorful base for soups, sauces, and more.

To start, save your vegetable trimmings and chicken bones or carcasses in a freezer-safe bag. Contrary to some beliefs, chicken skin doesn’t significantly contribute to the stock’s flavor, so it can be omitted from your stock ingredients. Once you’ve accumulated enough scraps, it’s time to cook.

Place the chicken and vegetable scraps into a large pot, covering them with water while leaving a few inches at the top. Season the water with whole peppercorns, a bay leaf, and kosher salt to taste. This is optional if you prefer your chicken stock to be more versatile. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, covering the pot with a lid. Allow the stock to simmer gently for 3 to 6 hours for the flavors to fully meld.

After simmering, use a slotted spoon to remove the larger pieces from the pot. For a clearer stock, pour the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into containers for storage. Chicken stock can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for six months, ensuring you have a homemade, flavorful ingredient on hand for your cooking needs.

The process of making your own chicken stock not only reduces food waste but also adds a homemade touch that can’t be bought. Once you’ve experienced the depth of flavor it brings to your dishes, store-bought stock won’t compare.