I’m a big fan of making and using my own chicken stock. Homemade chicken stock is so much better than store-bought, and it’s incredibly easy to make. Since cooler months are here, I decided to haul out my Bayou Classic burner along with my Bayou Classic stockpot, which has an insert that makes it super simple to remove all the ‘stuff’ that goes into making great homemade chicken stock.
You can actually make stock for free, or close to free. Just keep the vegetable and chicken trimmings you accumulate thru the year in a bag or container in the freezer. Things like onion and carrot ends, less-than-ripe celery, and the tips off chicken wings make for great stock. They don’t have to be pretty. They’re going to cook all day and flavor the stock, and in the end, when they’ve served their purpose, they’ll be discarded.
Sadly, our cats do not like the chicken after the stock is made. Most of the flavor is gone from the meat since it’s in the liquid itself, so I can’t really blame them. But you can save it if you like.
I do not recommend adding salt to the stock as you make it. Save the salt for when you use the finished stock in recipes at a later time.
Homemade Chicken Stock
- Note: The following will fit into a 12-quart stock pot. You can double or triple the recipe for a larger stockpot.
- 3-4 pounds chicken cut into pieces, rinsed (Note: I also save the tips when I make chicken wings. Freeze them and throw them into the pot when making stock)
- 2 large onions skin on, quartered
- 2 large carrots unpeeled, rinsed
- 2 large celery ribs halved, rinsed
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 1 head garlic skin on, broken into cloves
- Place all ingredients into a stockpot.
- Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer and let simmer for 5-6 hours.
- Scrape any fat off the top of the liquid.
- Let pot cool for 2-3 hours then place in fridge overnight.
- The following day, return pot to stove and heat until just warm. Scrape any fat that is present if desired.
- Strain liquid and freeze.