After you have cooked the perfect roast chicken you will be left with the bones, fat, and other undesirable parts of the chicken's carcass. Those parts usually end up being thrown away which is a huge waste because the bones hold the most flavour. Using chicken bones the correct way will help you make the tastiest soups, sauces, and gravy. Instead of using a shop-bought stock cube that has little flavour and a ton of salt you can use your very own homemade chicken stock and it will vastly improve all of your home cooking.
If you plan your weekly meals and it turns out that you don’t need chicken stock the same week that you have all of the bones you can simply make it up and freeze it for later. Freezing chicken stock is a great way to keep it on hand for when it's needed and freezing it doesn’t compromise the flavour. To be able to make your very chicken stock all you will need is a large saucepan or stockpot. It is recommended to cook it for at least 3-6 hours for the ultimate flavour but if time is short you can do it within one hour. There are many ways that you can make chicken stock with the addition of many other ingredients but this way is the most efficient that reduces waste because the bones are being used instead of being thrown away. Feel free to adjust our recipe as you feel, some people like to add onion, carrot, parsley, and celery to their stock but we like to keep it simple so that we can add the ingredients will like to our main meal.
- Leftover chicken bones
- Sea salt (to taste)
- Black pepper
- 4 Garlic cloves (optional)
- After you have removed the meat from the bones and have eaten your roast chicken simply put the garlic, chicken bones, fat and leftover skin into a large saucepan or stockpot on medium heat.
- Cover it with water and simmer for 3-6 hours stirring occasionally to avoid it burning and if the water evaporates add more.
- After the stock has been made simply sieve it into another pan to discard the bones and garlic.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- You can either use the stock right away in your recipes or you can put it in a container and place it in the fridge or freezer.
- If you are saving the stock for another time and it is going to be put into your fridge or freezer you can cook it for an extra 1-2 hours to concentrate the flavour more and make it easier to store if you would like.
Frequently asked questions
Are chicken broth and chicken stock the same?
The short answer is that chicken stock is made primarily from animal bones whereas chicken broth is made more from the meat which is why the flavours are slightly different. Also chicken stock will be slightly different in texture and this is because it has gelatin in it.
Why has my chicken stock gone like jelly?
If you have refrigerated your homemade chicken stock it will start to resemble jelly as it cools this is simply because it contains gelatin from the bones. If you cook the chicken stock it will return to liquid and can be used as normal.
When is the best time to add salt to your stock?
Whilst you can add salt to your stock any time you would like it is best to season it at the end. This is because the process of making stock starts with a large amount of water and not much flavour but towards the end of cooking the water would have reduced in size and the flavour would be more full giving you a more accurate taste. It is easier to add salt when you can taste the end result instead of guessing what the flavour might be like.
Is chicken stock easier to make than vegetable stock?
Both stocks are relatively easy to make but vegetable stock can be made a lot faster. This is because meat stock requires extracting the flavour slowly from bones for up to 6 hours whereas the vegetable stock can gather flavour from vegetables like celery within one hour. That being said a lot more ingredients tend to go into making vegetable stock and it can get a little more complicated if you are not used to making your own stock.
Can I cook my chicken stock for longer than 6 hours?
Whilst 6 hours is plenty when it comes to cooking chicken stock if you wanted to cook it for longer you could. The result is a more concentrated stock, however, there would be no point cooking it for any longer than 8 hours.
How long does chicken stock last in the fridge?
Chicken stock will keep for around four days if kept in the fridge, however, you should ensure that it has cooled completely before putting it in the fridge and the flavour may become less desirable over time.