Instructables
Picture of Chicken Stock
Chicken stock or broth, SO easy to make, is the foundation of countless recipes. Everything from soup to pot pies to curries to chili to casseroles start with chicken stock. For years I bought cans of chicken broth at the grocery store. Then it started coming in foil-lined boxes. Sometimes I just used bouillon cubes. I never questioned the NATURE of chicken stock.

Several years ago my father-in-law taught me how to make my own chicken stock and I've never looked back. For starters, I stopped having headaches every time I made a recipe that called for chicken broth! I also discovered that the homemade version of chicken stock simply has a richer, fuller taste than the store-bought version.

This is really more of a method than a recipe. It fits very generously into the category of "life in the slow lane," because this method takes many hours. It doesn't take a lot of work, but it does take time.

For those of you with vegetarian inclinations or convictions, I'm nearly ready to post an instructable on how to make vegetable stock, so stay tuned.

 
 
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Step 1: The Case for Homemade Chicken Stock

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The most compelling reason for making your own chicken broth can be summed up in one word: SODIUM.

Just for fun, I went out with my 9th grade son to document the sodium content on commercial chicken broth. He was mortified that his mother was standing in the soup aisle, photographing ingredient lists.

I'm glad I went. I really LIKE being able to do things and make things myself. Looking at the nutritional information on the packaging of the chicken broth available in the grocery store convinced me that it's also a really good choice nutritionally.

Here's what I found:
mdog934 years ago
Do you freeze it in glass containers?
you can use an ice cube maker, to portion it too.
kitchengirl3 years ago
where did my comment go I hit preview and the whole thing that took 20-30 minutes to write, dissappeared?????
sir_h_c4 years ago
Add a tablespoon of acid(lemon juice or vinegar) to the chicken hot tub. It will help extract the nutrients from the bones and cartilage, specifically the minerals. Even healthier!
1100 MILLIGRAMS?? O_O I had no idea! Why would they need to put so much salt in broth? Can't they just let people add their own? No wonder Americans have so many health problems.
NoFiller4 years ago
A great base, but you are missing onion, carrots and celery (at the minimum).  Making stock is a great time to empty out the crisper drawer of any vegetables that are past their prime. It is also a good way to use carrot peelings and celery ends. Just throw in about 20% as many vegetable as you have bones to round out the flavour. Also consider adding a couple of bay leaves and some peppercorns.
snarkitty4 years ago
This is awesome!

I slow cooked a chicken (7hrs) to feed my game group yesterday. After I collected the bones and we started game,  I went back over to the crock pot (which had left over veggies from the roast process), poured all the bones + remaining carcass in, and set it for 12 hours and forgot about it for the rest of the night (Best part! Hahaha). I just woke up and strained it,  and now I have *perfect* broth waiting to be canned up :)

Thank you!!!
SinAmos5 years ago
I love it and have done similar things. We can put our crock pot to good use.
belsey5 years ago
I've been making stock like this for years. After baking a chicken I'll pick off all the meat, reserve it in the fridge, and simmer the carcass, including all the giblets (the bag of organs which come stuffed inside the cavity) on the stovetop for hours... But I just recently read in the NY Times that it's a bad idea to include the giblets. There was no explanation. Does anybody know why? It cooks so long I doubt if it's health reasons, and as to taste, my stocks are delicious... but maybe they'd be even better without them.
kumiko belsey5 years ago
Many organs (especially those that make up the endocrine and reproductive systems like the liver and anus) contain alot of hormones. Hormones are chemicals that regulate much of your body's functions and taking extra may affect the hormone balance in your body. For example, steroids are bad because they have a hormone called testosterone which makes humans grow more muscle and body hair. Having too much testosterone has all kind of side effects. I don't know how closely chicken hormones are to humans, or whether the chemicals break down with heat. But it's probably not good to take the chance, right?
AidanG5 years ago
My own input: - always roast whatever it is. Got a bunch of chicken wing tips? Roast them, skin on, and then plop them in. If I don't have a carcass, I'll use thighs and wings - cheap and tasty. - add a bay leaf, carrot, onion, celery, garlic, and pepper. So much better with this stuff than without, and can also go into the dog's dish (except for the bay).
jdtwelve125 years ago
Ok... in our family we've usually been on the mind set that stock wasn't worth the time and trouble to make... but the descriptions here of stock vs. broth, and this fantastic idea of using the crock pot changed my mind. I had to try it. We roasted a chicken this evening. (Delicious, btw -- I can report that vertical roasting is a fairly awesome technique for an even, juicy bird.) Now I've just finished the process of stocking the crock pot instead of the stockpot. This is the tick-tock part, and here's another thought: tomorrow I'll have got me one rockin' stock. (So wish me lock... er, luck.) (Nice Instructable!)
tstens5 years ago
I also recommend adding a few whole peppercorns and a couple of bay leaves as well. Also any veggie ends or unusables, like the ends of onions and carrots or the tops of celery stalks. Anything made with home-made chicken stock is worlds better than store-bought. Plus I love the idea of making high-quality food out of what is essentially trash. Seems like magic to me.
theRIAA5 years ago
this is how my mom makes roast... /:
nillo5 years ago
I never thought of using the crock pot, but it sure makes sense. I usually get mine from the leftover liquid when I poach thighs in the pressure cooker (I love my pressure cookers). I tie all the veg and aromatics in cheesecloth and just toss it on top. Although when I was in one of those poncy culinary schools we used chicken backs exclusively since they are so dang cheap and almost all bone. If you are running out of room, you can always reduce that down to a glace and stick it in the freezer.
jdevereaux5 years ago
Excellent ible! it's good to see people getting back to basics especially around the kitchen. Homemade is always tastier and since you control what goes in it often healthier than any store bought alternatives. I would like to note that even though most people use stock and broth interchangeably, they aren't the same animal. A stock will contain bones as well as meat, a broth is only made from meat (no bones, less collagen and thus typically thinner in viscosity). I hope more people start getting back to basics and sharing with the community!
There really is no difference between stock and broth except in poncy culinary schools, whereas in Britain broth is actually a thick soup made from stock....
The difference is gelatin. Stock is made with bones, hence gelatin. Broth is made with meat, not as much (if any) gelatin. A good stock will gel in the fridge, broth will not. Both are super delicious, but stock has that yummy mouthfeel that turns soup and other dishes into something close to magical.
My Sisters Kitchen (author)  jdevereaux5 years ago
Wow, thanks for the definitions. I really DO use those definitions interchangeably and had no idea what the difference was. Clearly what I have here is a hearty stock. I actually have a ziplock baggie in my freezer of chicken feet that a farm-girl friend gave me to add to my stock occasionally to further increase the collagen and viscosity. Thanks for your help! MSK
luvit5 years ago
this is harder than chicken in the blender... nice work, though.
I've always done mine on the stove, but maybe I will try the crock pot next time. Seems much easier! I also freeze my stock in ice cube trays and then put the cubes in gallon freezer bags. That way I can add a little or a lot depending on what I need. :)
Chicken cubes.... mmm.
I love the ice cube idea. That's a great technique. msk
sketchy_d5 years ago
Wow! Thanks so much for this method.
kelleyboys45 years ago
Great ible! Keep the wonderful 'back to basics' food posts coming. Thank you!