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Chicken Stock

-4 pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs
-1 large onion, quartered
-4 carrots, peeled and cut in half
-4 ribs celery, cut in half
-1 leek, white part only, cut in half lengthwise
-10 sprigs fresh thyme
-10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
-2 bay leaves
-8 to 10 peppercorns
-2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
- cold water to cover


Place chicken, vegetables, herbs and spices in large stockpot. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains a low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon or fine mesh strainer several times for the first hour or so. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours.

Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot or heatproof container discarding the solids. When stock has cooled a  bit place in refrigerator overnight. Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months. Prior to use, bring stock to a boil for 2 minutes. 

May be used as a base for soups and sauces.