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Chicken (or Any Other Meat) Stock

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 4


There was a time when chefs made stock out of scraps and even leftovers; mostly, those days are past, because chefs make so much stock every day that, although scraps may contribute, most of the base is fresh meat and vegetables bought expressly for the purpose. It makes sense for you to freeze chicken pieces, parsley stems, bits of carrot and onion, and so on, but, really, when it comes time to make stock, unless you’re on a very strict budget, you might as well start with just what you need.

Some chefs swear by chicken wings; some use legs only; some add feet. Some cook stock for an hour or two; some for a day. Jean-Georges Vongerichten once admonished me against overcooking stock, saying, “You want to taste meat and vegetables, not bones.” Bones give stock richness, but their flavor should not be up front. So cooking times for most stocks should be relatively short, about 1½ hours (or 6 to 8 hours in a slow-cooker, which does a great job here).

Yield: 1 gallon
Cooking time: 2 Hours Or More, Mostly Unattended


  • About 4 pounds chicken parts, mostly dark meat (or use turkey, beef, lamb, rabbit, or duck)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 onion (peeling is unnecessary)
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 4 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Several sprigs fresh parsley (stems alone are fine)
  • 10 peppercorns or a few gratings black pepper
  • 14 to 16 cups (about 4 quarts) water




1. Combine all of the ingredients in a stockpot or slow cooker. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a stockpot, or 6 to 8 hours in a slow-cooker, until the broth is fragrant and flavorful.

2. Cool, then strain, pressing on the solid ingredients to extract as much liquid as possible. Refrigerate, then skim excess fat once it hardens. Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into containers and refrigerate (for up to 3 days, or longer if you bring to a boil every third day) or freeze.


Gary Danko’s Duck Essence: In a deep skillet over medium-high heat, brown 6 or 8 pieces of duck wings or other meaty pieces in about 2 tablespoons olive oil or duck fat. Brown well, turning as necessary. Add 2 cups good stock, chicken or duck. Cook until reduced by about half, then strain; this will take about 15 minutes. Then pour the liquid into a saucepan and reduce, stirring frequently, until thick and glossy, 10 minutes or more. Season and use by the spoonful as a sauce.

© 2005 Double B Publishing, Inc.

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 16 servings.

5kcal (0%)
8mg (1%)
0mg (0%)
33mcg RAE (1%)
1mg (0%)
10mg (0%)
0g (0%)
0g (0%)
0mg (0%)

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  • swhitmansalkin

    01.28.10 Flag comment

    @cookguy @Big_Ugly_Mich @BarbL Sorry for this error, and thanks for catching it! I asked Mark Bittman about the amount of water that should be used and he said that 14 to 16 cups (about 4 quarts) of water is the right amount for this recipe. I've edited the recipe to reflect this correction.

  • cookguy

    01.14.10 Flag comment

    I'm gonna hazard a guess that you should start with about 6 quarts (MOL) of water if yield is approx. 1 gallon.

  • Big_Ugly_Mich

    01.14.10 Flag comment

    Barb stole my thunder, but not the fact that the question is valid.

  • BarbL

    01.14.10 Flag comment

    Shouldn't this recipe include some liquid?


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