Chicken (or Any Other Meat) Stock

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

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).

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.

1 gallon

Cooking Time2 min

Cooking Time - Text120

Cooking Methodslow cooking



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

Equipmentcrock pot

Taste and Texturemeaty, rich, savory, umami

Type of Dishchicken soup, hot soup, soup, stock


  • 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




Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

@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.

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

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

Shouldn't this recipe include some liquid?


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In to Your Account

Close Window
Sign In with one of your Social Accounts
Sign In using Email and Password