Basic Chicken Stock

chicken stock

It’s cold and probably already dark out. What better time than now to learn how to make your own chicken stock?  If you need to be convinced of this skill’s merit, read on:

It makes EVERYTHING taste better. Of course you can (and will!) use it as the base for an amazing soup, but it’s also great for braising greens, cooking rice/some trendier grain, sauces of all sorts… you get the idea. Once you have a lot, you’ll use a lot.

It’s also much healthier than it’s canned brethren and basically free.  I make stock semi-regularly using a method I learned in Tamar Adler’s book An Everlasting Meal. Basically this means I hoard veggie scraps and bones in my freezer: onion skins, carrot peels, garlic bits, celery ends, chicken bones, etc. When the bag is full, into the pot it goes to simmer away for a few hours and transform itself into liquid gold.

This a recipe for your laziest Sundays. As in, you just can’t go anywhere because you have to stay home and make stock. It’s serious business. Your New Year’s resolutions were to produce less waste, save money, and be healthier. This is helping you achieve all three! No one has to know you watched SVU reruns all day.

(If you need some soup inspiration, might I suggest Italian Wedding Soup or Chorizo Chili?)

Chicken Stock
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Basic, mild chicken stock recipe
  • Veggie scraps like:
  • onion skins
  • carrot peels
  • celery ends
  • parsley stems
  • Bones and leftover bits from 1 roast chicken
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Put bones and veggies in a large stock pot. Add 1 tsp each of salt and pepper.
  2. Fill pot with water and bring to boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer.
  4. Simmer partially covered and occasionally spoon off any foam that forms at the top.
  5. Allow to simmer at the lowest possible temperature for at least 4 episodes of SVU (aka 3 hours). The longer it simmers, the deeper & richer the flavor will become.
  6. When finished, allow to cool and remove solids with slotted spoon. If you want extra clear broth, strain through a mesh sieve.
Store for a week-ish in the fridge or up to a year in the freezer.