Easy Homemade Chicken Stock
Recently my dear friend Denise, asked me what’s the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth and I thought I bet there are a few others that might be asking the same question when they read a recipe.
Taste of Home had a great explanation about stock vs. broth... there is one major difference between broth and stock: broth is made from meat and vegetables, but stock is made with bones. While both are flavorful, broth tends to be thinner. It’s cooked for less time, and it doesn’t contain stock’s thick, viscous texture. When collagen-rich bones are simmered for hours, the heat coaxes out all kinds of flavor, along with gelatin. That’s why stock is usually solid (like Jell-O) when it’s refrigerated while broth keeps a liquid form.
While I LOVE to make chicken stock from scratch, I don't always have the time. So in those instances, I recommend canned low-sodium chicken broth. For busy nights this is a lifesaver. And if you've got an extra few minutes, you can enhance its flavor by adding any combination of the following and simmering for as long as you can: carrots, onions, leeks, celery, fennel, parsley, bay leaf, black peppercorns, or garlic. That'll help the flavor tremendously.
My recipe for stock varies based on what type of herbs and veggies I have on hand, so I encourage you to do the same. The key is letting the stock simmer for hours to let all the yummy flavors marry together to make a wonderfully rich stock. I prefer to use my nice homemade stock for sauces, soups, especially chicken noodle soup, and anytime I really want to amp up the flavor of what I’m making. However, I would use a canned broth for things like poaching chicken, as I do in my chicken salad recipe, or when I make rice or quinoa. Using broth in these instances will give you more flavor than plain water.
5 pounds of chicken thighs and legs (or whole chicken cut down into pieces)
1 large yellow onion peeled and quartered
3 carrots peeled and cut in half
3 stalks of celery cut in half (leafy greens are fine too)
1 bunch of fresh parsley tied with kitchen string
1 bunch of thyme tied with kitchen string
4 cloves of garlic smashed, skin removed
1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon of kosher salt
Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot and add 5 quarts of water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 3 hours.
Remove the chicken and vegetables then strain the stock through a sieve or fine mesh strainer.
Once the stock is cooled, store in the refrigerator overnight so the fat will rise to the top and solidify making it easy to remove the fat with a large spoon or ladle.
I love to divide the stock into 1 cup containers for sauces and also in larger containers for when I am making soups and need larger amounts.