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Best way to make chicken stock

edited 3:56AM in EggHead Forum
I know this isn't a question about the EGG but it is cooking. I want to make my own Chicken Stock. I am keeping the necks and backs of the chickens from when I make Spatchcock Chicken. Can I use the carcass of the Chicken as well ? Are the backs and necks enough for flavor ? I know to add the carrots, celery, onion, and herbs, etc.

Thank you.

Canoga Park, Ca.


  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    I think a big bag of necks and backs is a great way to do it. If you eat a lot of chicken you could come up with a gallon bag of extra parts in no time.
  • Hi Gary

    Your thinking right about the stock. Yes you can use the carcass and any thing else from the bird. I don't know how much stock you want but I used to buy the necks and backs at the supermarket dirt cheep and then roast them. I was doing it in an oven but you can roast them on the egg for more flavor, I didn't have an egg at the time. I would salt and paper them lightly and roast them at a fairly good temperature, you aren't out to make them tender or anything like that just want to give them some good color which will give the stock great flavor. You can also get a rotisserie chicken from a place like Sam's Club and strip the meat off of it and use the carcass for your stock and the meat to make a great soup out of. When roasted add them to your stock pot or any big enough kettle with your carrots, onions, celery and herbs. I usually would go with thyme as the predominant herb as it goes with just about any meat very well. A little oregano and basil would be good. Optionally you can also replace some of your water with white wine. Any wine good enough to drink is good for cooking. I would start with a cup or two or about 25% of the total liquid and fill to cover everything the rest of the way with water. Bring it to a gentle simmer and let it do it's thing for an hour or two. When it has simmered enough so it has good color, fragrance and great taste strain it well. If you wish you may also strain it through several layers of cheese cloth to get the real little bits out. I was never that particular. I have heard of people using coffee filters or paper towels to really filter it. I used a regular strainer and was happy with it. Next place it in a bowl and cover well. When it has cooled a bit place it in the frig over night. In the morning take it out and the fat will have risen to the top and solidified. It is a simple matter to skim the fat off the top with a metal kitchen spoon. A good rich stock will set up like Jello when you chill it.
    You can do this with fish, in the old days I used to get fish carcasses at the fish market for free and make awesome fish stock. You can also do it with turkey, my Mother never roasted a turkey with out making turkey soup from it. It also works with beef, lamb and veal or anything else, just roast the pieces of the critter before simmering till they have some good color.

    I deliberately do not add salt and pepper to my stocks. Stocks are always getting made in to something else and I will season the final dish with the salt and pepper when it is almost completed. This gives you better control of the final seasoning of the dish and is safer in the long run. If you get a stock too salty it may make every thing else to salty as well.

    Edit - Little Chef brings up a very important point I had missed. Skimming the stock as it simmers. Any foam that forms on the top of your stock needs to be skimmed off.

    Hope this helps,


  • I do a real simple, straight forward stock!
    And yes...It is all by guess and by golly. Use your nose!!
    It is pretty hard to go wrong though, unless you have one chicken neck and fifteen gallons of water.

    Chicken parts
    Crushed pepper corns
    Onion, sliced
    Garlic, crushed
    Celery, chopped
    Carrots, chopped
    One bottle of White wine
    Bay leaves
    Sweet Marjoram (my grand mothers favorite)

    Simmer covered, the longer the better. Strain out the trash.
    What I don't use with in a few days, I freeze for later use.
  • Good point with regard to the S&P Blair.
    I tend to go heavy on the pepper, but very light on salt, even in the final. Folks can salt at the table and it won't upset me!!!
    However, I do s&p my stocks which I'm sure is nowhere near what some folk do!!
  • nlstevenlsteve Posts: 44
    I agree with most of the advice here.
    Yeah, save your chicken bones & freeze them until you're ready to make stock. Roast them and the veggies to get some caramelizing if you are making dark stock.
    I believe I have heard that including some thigh bones is desirable, as they contain a fair amount of gelatin.
    It will need to simmer for several hours -- even six or eight -- until it's rich & dark.
    Do NOT boil.
    There's no reason to salt the stock, since it will go into another recipe afterward anyway.

    I would add that, since making stock is pleasant and makes your house smell great, but it's also a bit of a hassle, I would save the homemade rich dark stock for recipes in which it will matter -- French onion soup, minestrone, & things like that will really benefit from using the good stuff. Use the best low-sodium commercial stock you can find if you're making something that really isn't centered around having good stock.
    Use the biggest pot and make the biggest batch that's feasible for you.
    I like to freeze the stock in 1 or 2-quart portions for easy use when needed.
    And by the way, most of the same rules apply to beef stock. Roast the bones & proceed similarly.
    You won't taste anything that good from the store.

  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Gary: Carcass as in raw? Yes! Carcass as in cooked and carved are not the flavors you are looking for in a stock. Enough backs, necks, wing tips, thigh bones... whatever you keep raw... you should be good to go! Add your onions, carrots, celery, bay, peppercorns, etc...NO salt. Technically, to keep the stock clear, bring your raw bones (only) to a boil, then drain through a collander, rinse quickly, and start again. Water, and now the mirepoix (veggies), and simmer for a few hours. If any grey/brown bubbles/scum form on the edges of your pot, skim them off. Absolutlely NO harm if you don't, but it helps keep the stock clear.
    The advice that Gator gave you is totally and completely solid as well, depending on the result you are looking for. Pre-roasting will give you a brown(er) stock. So, depending on the result you want to acheive, go for it!
    Just remember with a stock, you are trying to keep it neutral, which will add more flavor than water. The salt comes in when you use the stock in the final dish. Stock should not taste like boullion, or "stock" we buy in a box. It's kicked up water essentially, with a whole lot of added nutrition and flavor! Hope this helps!
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Steve: Who are you??? :laugh: Very solid advice from a are obviously not new to being a foodie!! Great post. :) And solid advice. Nice going, and I like your style. B)
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Great post. Thanks all who contributed. Tim :)
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 518
    I use left over saved roasted chicken carcass and put it in the crock pot with onion, celery, a couple carrots, some whole peppercorns and cover with water. Put it on high and let it go about 24 hours. cool and strain. Makes about 4-5 quarts. Sometimes I throw in chicken feet too.
    Egging on two larges + 36" Blackstone griddle
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,308
    i learned to do it on a really low simmer but see some do it with a pressure cooker, does the temp really make a difference
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,204
    Welcome to the wonderful world of stocks and broths and consommé's. You will soon find that most of the products available at the market aren't very good.

    Here's a couple of tips to add to the above.

    If you want the stock to be clear, keep the water under 180. Above that, you will get an emulsion, and the stock will be at least a little cloudy.

    Chef Thomas Keller advises against using celery, because he finds it adds some bitterness to the stock.

    You can roast the bones and vegetables if you want a brown and richer stock. The long period spent at 180 will produce some maillard reaction flavors, but not as much as if the food is taken above 140.

    Make a sachet for the herbs. Makes it so much easier to remove at the end.

    Altho' traditional stock is slow boiled, I find stocks made in a pressure cooker are very fast, and flavorful. They will be somewhat cloudy, and will most likely form a solid gel when cooled. My pressure cooker has an internal basket, so at the end I only have to carefully lift the basket out, and am left with a pretty clear stock that only requires a pass thru a strainer.

    Most bones can be used twice. The second time around, the stock may be somewhat weaker, but is great for a liquid to boil rice, etc. in.

    If you have lots of bones, and/or leftovers each week, and any stock from the preceding week left, combine those for a doubly flavorful liquid.

    For a nutrition boost, when making chicken stock, add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar per quart. It will dissolve some of the calcium out of the bones. The vinegar will mostly boil out by the end. Lemon juice can also be used, and/but will add the citrus flavor. I had a friend who added enough vinegar that the carcass disappeared!
  • Here is another vote for chicken feet. I find they give a super "chickeny" flavor to the stock and it easy to keep a bag of them in the freezer and throw in 4 or 5 feet with the other chicken parts and veggies for a big pot of stock.
    Hey Gary

    Now that you have mastered stock you are ready for Demi-glaze. I have never made it but it has to be a labor of love and is legendary! :blink: :laugh:


  • icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,157
    I do what has been suggested above. Now when buying chicken I usually by whole chickens and cut them up myself that way I can freeze the back and necks and whatever bones I have left over.
  • read some of the replies lots of good advice.
    i use a package of chicken feet + bones and what i have saved and simmer all day and sometimes over night at 180 like making demi glaze.. i add a teeny bit of salt and a spash of vinegar or squeeze of lemon juice as this helps dissolve the collagen,, when cool the stock will be like jello. i also add other root vegetables: parsnip, turnip but my current favorite is parsley root ..and the parsley tops that come with it.
    i now have a 7 qt pressure cooker,,i run two loads and mix them. first is chicken the second is a veg stock and then mix them. i skim and [he comes my OCD] i cannot stand the little white protein flakes floating in my stock from raw chicken so i bought a bouillion strainer it works great and i use it a lot
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,973

    You have all the answers here but I want to clarify a couple of things that have been said. First, for a white stock, you need to blanch the bones, for a dark stock you roast. You can add herbs in a bouquet garnis or a sachet. Mirepoix is typically two parts onion to one each carrot and celery but you can use other vegetables.
    I use herb stems and stalks just thrown in because I always strain stock through cheesecloth. I put the filtered stock in vacuum bags in the freezer so I can take the fat off and vacuum seal when its frozen.
    Oriental markets are a great source for chicken bones cause they sell a lot of chicken and usually sell necks, backs and bones really cheap. They also sell the feet which add a lot of colagen to the stock.



    Caledon, ON


  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    $70 bucks for a strainer? What does it do? -RP
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Remember food safety, you need to cool the finished stock to below 40 degrees in less than four hours. I strain mine then take frozen water bottles and put them right in the stock. When cool enough to handle, I put 2 cups each into sandwich size ziplocks, seal them, then drop them into a sink filled with water and ice cubes. In about 10 minutes they are ready for the freezer. -RP
  • it makes clear broth,strains it clear like boullion, the scum and all the teeny little pieces are removed,, i use a regular strainer first for the big stuff,, it does not look like a regular strainer or chinois. and it was less expensive than many i looked at,, i bought it because i was tired of using cheese cloth which is messy and costs $3+ for a hankie sized piece in the grocery store and they don't always have it and it is made in some third world country and i am afaid i will get dengue fever or indonesian tongue rot when i use it so i always boil it first and i got tired of all that.
    when you throw raw chicken into stock to make soup you always get those little white flakes and the regular strainer does not remove them.. nor will it remove the bonito flakes from miso soup. i make beef and pork demi a lot of soup etc.. i am very happy with it and use it a lot..
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,973

    I don't know what dengue fever is but that Indonesian tongue rot can be nasty.



    Caledon, ON


  • I just about always make stock from the carcass from my Mad Max turkey right after each Christmas. It all goes into a large stock pot along with a bunch of onion quarters, celery stalks, garlic, herbs and spices. Cover with water and bring to a slow boil for a really long time, replenishing water as it boils off. I then strain it and put it into quart containers and freeze it. I have various soups all year long made with this really delicious stock.

    Use your chicken carcass and enjoy.

  • nlstevenlsteve Posts: 44
    LC -- thanks for the very kind words. I appreciate it.

    Happy Egging,

  • dengue is like ebola , rift valley or hanta virus they are all hemorraghic virus diseases hanta has been found in the american southwest and in pennsylvania. spread by mouse droppings or mouse urine [i forget which]
    why did i write all this.. cause my neighbor re uses mouse traps and does not wear gloves ,,,
    mouse traps are 3 for a dollar... wear gloves and dispose of carefully... i spray mouse crap with lysol and let dry before vacuuming ..
    i have done a lot of dumb stuff but i don't want to die from mouse turds.[insert serious emotocon here ]
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,973

    I checked out the various Chinois super fines and I am going to get one. Don't want to die from mouse things.



    Caledon, ON


  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    I'm trying to eat cookies and read this but, now I'm gunna go wash my hands about ten times. :pinch: :unsure: :ermm:
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