Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chicken Stock

Tony was sick last week and requested chicken noodle soup. It's nice and light and good for your belly, even if you are feeling well.

I started by making chicken stock. I think that in a soup like chicken noodle where the broth is a star it's important to have a lot of flavor in the stock. When you make your own, you can add lots of vegetables. I use left over bits from previous meals. The same veggies that can be used in vegetable stock can be used in chicken stock. Use any that you have on hand. You also have better control over the amount of salt and fat that go into your own stock. But if you must, you can use a store bought one.

1 Onion - roughly chopped, peel on
3 Carrots - roughly chopped
4 Celery stalks - roughly chopped
6 Garlic cloves - crushed
Ginger trimmings (peel)
Bell Pepper trimmings (tops and bottoms)
Bay Leaf
1/2 Chicken* (1 leg, thigh, wing, breast, back, neck)
Green tops of Leeks
Parsley stems
Rosemary stalks

*The neck, back bone, giblets, and wing tips are great for stock. I don't use the kidneys, liver, or heart. I removed the skin from the chicken before I cooked it to lower the fat that I'd have to skim out later. Always rinse your chicken in the sink under cold water, then pat it dry with a kitchen or paper towel. Remember to clean all surfaces that come in contact with raw chicken!

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a stock pot, or any large pot.

Add the next eight ingredients to the pot and sauté for a few minutes.

Salt and pepper the chicken and place it in your pot.

Fill the pot with water, be sure the chicken is covered.

Bring the water to a boil.

Lower the heat so that the stock will simmer and add the rest of the ingredients. (Your herbs and soft vegetables.)

Skim fat off the top as needed and stir occasionally.

Once the chicken is cooked remove it from the pot, leaving the neck, back bone, and giblets in the stock. An easy way to tell if the chicken is done is to see if the leg bone is loose. If it pulls off the meat easily, then the chicken is cooked.

Place the chicken on a plate to cool.

Continue cooking the stock for a total of 1-2 hours.

As the stock cooks you can prep the veggies for your soup.

After the chicken cools, pull it off the bones and throw the bones back into the stock pot.

Shred or dice the chicken. (I think the white meat is definitely better shredded.)

Set the chicken aside, covered or refrigerate it if you're not going to be using it soon.

After the stock has cooked, preferably for two hours, use a colander to strain it.

Use a spoon to press the solids down into the colander to extract all of the liquid out of the vegetables.

Discard the solids.

Then, use a fine mesh strainer to filter the broth a second time.

Now you have homemade chicken stock!

Gluten free Chicken Noodle Soup recipe here.


  1. Unquestionably, Robin, you have a future in food photography. I am absolutely not kidding.

  2. Thank you Steve! You made me blush!