I started making my own chicken stock when I looked at the ingredient list on a box of chicken stock. Not only did I almost fall over reading how much salt was included per serving but I was flabbergasted to learn that flour is added to the mix. Chicken stock should be gluten-free, however, the store-bought varieties are not! I was beside myself and decided that moment to make a conscious effort to only use homemade stock.
Making Homemade Chicken stock is not only better for you but it’s extremely affordable. This recipe will cost you around $5-$6 for 8-10 quarts. If you were to buy them in the quart size boxes you’d be spending somewhere between $28-$35 (depending on the brand) for the same 8-10 quarts!
Check out the label of a typical box of chicken stock. You can see that it’s really not all that great for you and why I only make homemade stock for my recipes.
Stocks, broths and bone broth are nutrient-dense, healthy additions to the kitchen pantry that are incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. They contain high amounts of protein (specifically from the gelatin that is extracted from the bones) as well as containing trace minerals like calcium and phosphorus and are gluten-free. The best news is that YOU control what you are eating and how you make your stock.
So what’s the difference between broth, stock, and bone broth? Well, to be honest, it seems that the words are used interchangeably. There is a difference though.
- Broth- is made from the meat of the animal, in this case, chicken. The broth is made from boiling the chicken with vegetables and seasonings for typically a shorter amount of time. 45 minutes up to 2 hours. The color is not as rich and it has a thinner consistency but still has a high protein content.
- Stock- is made from the bones (chicken) and a small amount of meat. It is simmered for a longer period of time, 3-4 hours with vegetables and seasonings. The longer cooking time produces a thicker more rich broth from the gelatin that is extracted during cooking.
- Bone Broth- like stock, bone broth is made with the bones and a small amount of meat. The bones are generally roasted prior to simmering to bring out more flavor. Bone broth is, however, cooked for very long periods of time. 8-24 hours. The long cooking time extracts all the gelatin and pulls out the trace minerals that are found in the bones. The bone broth is cooked so long that the bones will actually crumble when pressed together with your fingers. (Crazy).
I know that the fad is drinking and using Bone broth, but I just stick to making stock. I find (for myself) that I enjoy the flavor and consistency of a straight stock. If you prefer to make a bone broth, you can use this recipe for stock, just increase the cooking time to 8-24 hours!
I like to take the opportunity to go a bit overboard on the vegetables when making stock. I’m actually in love with all those crazy root vegetables that you find on the back shelves of the vegetable section at the grocery. The rutabagas, turnips, and parsnips along with carrots, celery, onion, and garlic give the broth an extra rich and savory broth. The added bonus of adding all the extra vegetables, you get extra nutrients! It’s a win-win!
I am able to make my chicken stock super affordable because I save all my chicken carcasses and freeze them to make stock. Seriously, every time I pick up a rotisserie chicken or roast a chicken in my oven. I NEVER throw out the bones! I put the unused part of the chicken in freezer-safe plastic bags and when I have 2, preferably 3 chicken carcasses, I make stock! It’s actually an easy and practical habit to get into. Just don’t let your neighbors see your freezer. They may look at you funny. Lol.
You can also do this with the turkey carcass as well. One big turkey carcass will be enough for the stock. Turkey stock has a much richer color than chicken stock and really delicious in any recipe that calls for chicken stock. It will just add a little more richness to the dish which is always ok in my book!
You may or may not know this but if you leave the skin on your onion and put it directly in the pot the onion skin will give the stock a deeper yellow color. Onion skins have been used as a natural dye for centuries so it would make sense for it adding a wonderful color to your stock! Check out this article on onion skin dye. It’s actually quite interesting!
If you are looking for recipes to make with homemade chicken stock, well I have lots on my page. Here are a few ideas!
Soups and Stews-
Actually, click here and it will connect you to all kinds of soups and everything yummy!
Homemade Chicken Stock
- 2-3 chicken carcasses
- 1 large onion, do not peel
- 3-4 large carrots do not peel
- 3-4 stalks celery
- 1 rutabaga
- 1-2 turnips use 2 if they are small
- 2-3 parsnips use 3 if they are small
- 1 head garlic, left whole
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons peppercorns
- In a large stock pot, add the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
- Cover the ingredients with enough water to cover all the ingredients. Approximately 2 gallons of water.
- Bring to a boil then lower the heat to simmer, cover and let cook for 3-5 hours.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Pour the stock through a strainer to remove the solids.
- If not using immediately, transfer to freezer safe containers for up to 6 months.