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Basic Chicken Stock

Updated February 23, 2016
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As I roast chicken frequently, I break up the leftover carcass and add it, along with any gizzards, hearts and bones from the plate, to my freezer bag or to my pot. Stock made with bones from a roast will have a somewhat darker, deeper flavor. I don’t bother to roast fresh parts or bones when I get them; I simply cover them with water and proceed as in this recipe.

Even though the stocks made in the oven and in the slow-cooker cook for more than twice as long as stock made on the stove, the gelling quality and flavor are the same. This is due to the gentle cooking methods, which extract flavor and gelatin at a slower rate.

To make this in a slow-cooker, the recipe must be halved.

Cooking Methodslow cooking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturesavory

Type of Dishstock

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds chicken backs and necks, roasted carcasses or other bones

Instructions

To make the stock on top of the stove: In a tall narrow stockpot, bring the bones and 3 quarts water to a boil. Skim the fat.

Lower the heat and simmer gently, so bubbles are barely breaking the surface of the liquid, for at least 4 hours and up to 12; add water as needed to keep the bones covered. Skim as necessary to remove as much fat as possible.

To make the stock in the oven: Place a rack on the lowest level of the oven (remove any other racks) and heat the oven to 250°F.

In a tall narrow stockpot, bring the bones and 3 quarts water to a boil. Skim the fat. Place in the oven for 4 hours; add water if needed. Remove and skim the fat. Return to the oven for at least 5 hours, and up to 8.

To make the stock in a slow-cooker: Start with 2½ pounds bones and 6 cups water for a 4-quart cooker. Place the bones in the slow-cooker and pour the water over. Cover and turn the heat on low. Cook for 11 to 12 hours.

In all methods the bones will be falling apart when the stock is done. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Skim the fat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Remove the fat from the top of the stock and the sediment from the bottom. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze. Makes 10 cups on top of the stove, 8 cups in the oven, 6 cups in the slow-cooker

Roasted Chicken Stock

Use the bones left over from roasting a chicken. Cover with water in a tall narrow stockpot and simmer until the bones fall apart. The bones from one 5-pound chicken will make about 6 cups stock.

Enriched Chicken Stock

Place the necks, hearts, gizzards, backs and wing tips from two 3-pound chickens in a saucepan. Add 3 quarts Basic Chicken Stock or Roasted Chicken Stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook as long as time allows— up to 18 hours. Top up the liquid from time to time with water, and skim regularly. Strain. Makes about 10 cups, depending on how long it cooks

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