How-To: Homemade Chicken Stock

by Tokyo Terrace on November 22, 2010

So, how did Thanksgiving creep up on me? Somehow, in the midst of teaching and cooking and going slightly crazy, I missed the fact that the months slipped by and the time had grown near to give thanks with friends around a massive roasted turkey. Fortunately, since Ive hosted Thanksgiving two years in a row, Ive stowed away a few tricks to make the week-of much easier. My homemade chicken stock is one of those tricks. I use it in everything from mashed potatoes to stuffing and gravy. And when the leftovers need a little perk-up Ill use the stock to make soup (click on the link for my turkey miso ramen). Chicken stock is one of those staple ingredients that can add so much to the simplest dish. And it doesnt take much effort. Bonus!

I used to be one of those people who chuckled when someone said I should use homemade chicken stock. Well, chuckle all you want, but homemade is the only way to go. When we moved to Tokyo, all I could find was chicken bouillonchalky cubes of dried something-related-to-chicken that were full of salt. I got so fed up with using those silly little things for two reasons: 1) they tasted terrible, and 2) they tasted terrible. Just look what that stuff did to Brads face! (Hee hee, just had to get him back for popping in during photo-time)

When I first tried making chicken stock, I was nervous and apprehensive. However, the results were wonderful. Each time I made chicken stock after that first experience, I tried adding various spices like cloves, allspice, star aniseanything that would give a little extra kick to the stock. The rich flavors in this chicken stock are perfect for holiday dishes. The spices add some extra depth  and the long, slow simmering brings out all the flavor from the chicken.

The recipe Im going to share with you now is the result of many a day spent simmering and inhaling the comforting and homey aromas of homemade chicken stock. Trust me when I say that you will never want to go back to store-bought chicken stock again. Its that good.

Heres how it works.

Youll need:

1 chicken carcass

1/2 large carrot

1 stalk celery

1/2 white onion or a couple of leeks

2 whole cloves

4 allspice cloves

8 black peppercorns


1) Put a chicken carcass (if Ive roasted a chicken or purchased a rotisserie chicken Ill throw the carcass in the freezer to have on-hand. Use a carcass from a cooked chicken as it will impart more flavor), carrot, celery, onion/leeks, cloves, all-spice, and black peppercorns in a large pot. Cover with about 3 1/2-4 quarts of water.

2) Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer away for about 2-2 1/2 hours, skimming occasionally if necessary.

3) Pour the stock through a fine strainer into an airtight container or jar. Seal and allow to cool before placing in the fridge. Use as needed.

*The stock will keep for about 1 1/2-2 weeks in the fridge.

* You dont need to add salt if you are using a carcass from a rotisserie chicken- and usually I dont add salt at all so I can control the amount depending on the dish.

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  • Brie

    homemade stocks are the best! im actually making some today so i can use it in my homemade gravy for Thanksgiving. i love seeing others stock recipes!

  • Medifast Coupons

    Nice chicken stock recipe, good to have on hand.

  • Jun

    What a coincidence. I just bought chicken carcass from the market this weekend, which is now still sitting in the fridge. I will use your recipe. I share your dislike to those chicken bouillons! They are really nasty stuff!

  • kamran siddiqi

    Wonderful post!! The photos look absolutely gorgeous! And that caption of the photo with Brad and the chicken stock cracked me up! Finally, I have found time to read my favorite blogs. I promised myself that I wont pick up a book until I do.

  • Anonymous

    Kamran! Its been so long! Thanks for the comment- made my day to hear from you.

  • Anonymous

    Perfect timing! I hope you like the recipe!

  • Anonymous

    Its great to have in my stack of recipes. I make this stock at least once a month and use it in a lot of different ways.

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