In my family’s ongoing quest to eat less and less processed foods and also to reduce our grocery bills, we have been striving to make more and more of our meals completely from scratch, using no pre-processed or preserved foods at all. I don’t eat meat, but my husband does, and he frequently finds himself using canned meat broths for various soups, stews, and other dishes that he makes. Lately, however, we have started experimenting with making our own broth at home.
This homemade chicken stock recipe is the perfect base for all sorts of soups, stews, and countless other dishes. It is a versatile base and much healthier than canned broth with all of its additives and preservatives.
Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe
makes about two quarts
- Chicken pieces (a back, a neck, and two wings) *
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- red pepper
- 1/2 a medium onion
- 1 stick celery
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
- dash of olive oil
- 2 quarts filtered water
* We buy a whole chicken and use the breasts, thighs, and legs for a meal and then use these leftover pieces for a stock.
1). Clean the chicken and cut apart the needed pieces. Rub the back, neck, and wings with a mixture of the salt and a little black and red pepper.
2). Brown the chicken parts in a gallon pot over medium high heat (medium on a gas range). (You don’t have to cook it all the way through, because it is going to boil in the stock for a few hours).
3). In the meantime, skin your onion, and wash your celery and parsley. Dice the onion, chop the celery into thin slices, and chop the parsley finely.
4). When the chicken is browned, add the vegetables with a little olive oil and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onion and celery become translucent.
5). Add two quarts of filtered water, bring it to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium low. Cover tightly and let simmer for two hours. If you have a lid with a vent, make sure that it is closed.
6). When it is done simmering, you’ll want strain it to remove all of the bones and still-intact vegetable matter. We do this using a large wire-mesh strainer to pour the stock through into another large pot or bowl. Be careful not to splash the hot liquid on yourself!
7). This recipe makes about two quarts (if you’re careful not to let too much steam escape from the pot while cooking). Use immediately in any soup, stew, or other dish calling for chicken stock, or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator — will keep for four or five days.