Homemade Chicken Stock
Chicken stock is simply chicken meat, on the bone, boiled for a few hours with some vegetables and aromatics for flavor. This recipe is inspired by America’s Test Kitchen - they did all the work to figure out which cuts of meat, how much, and what aromatics to add for the cleanest tasting stock.
Chicken Broth adapted from America's Test Kitchen "Slow Cooker Revolution"
Makes 3 quarts
1 quartered onion
3 pounds of chicken wings
5 chicken feet (optional)
12 cups or 3 quarts of water
a little pour of apple cider vinegar (optional)
3 mashed cloves of garlic
A dash or so of salt
Cook it on high for 3-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
Remove the big pieces and strain the liquid.
Now sit it, uncovered in the fridge to cool.
When it’s completely cooled, you’ll have this nice little layer of fat to skim off. Because it’s solidified, it comes off more easily than if you tried to remove it when it’s still hot. This way is also more thorough.
Now you can divide it into storage containers to freeze! Freeze in 1 or 2-cup portions so you can defrost only what you need when you need it.
An important point to remember is when you put the stock in the fridge to cool, leave it uncovered. If you cover it, it may not cool down fast enough and it’ll ferment and turn sour.
In case you’re wondering, the chicken feet are absolutely optional but they are absolutely wonderful for adding gelatin to your stock! Gelatin is the healing property of stock, so I definitely want that.
And the vinegar is also optional. I don’t think it influences the flavor enough to notice, but I add it because it helps to draw more nutrients out of the bone.
How long can stock keep in the fridge?
I’ve seen sources say anywhere from 3 days to a week. I don’t let mine sit for more than 3-4 days in the fridge. In the freezer, it can stay for up to 3 months, but I usually use all mine up quicker than that. Everyone agrees though, that it’s safest to bring refrigerated or frozen stock to a full boil before using. I’ve even seen a source say to boil it for at least 5 if not 10 minutes before using it.
America's Test Kitchen "Slow Cooker Revolution" Notes:
Whole cut-up chicken = too fussy
Chicken backs, legs, and necks = too livery-y
Chicken wings = clear and refined
Longer cooking time yielded a better broth up to a certain point. After 8 hours on low or 5 hours on high, no improvement could be tasted.
Use a muffin tin to measure out 1/2-cup portions for freezing.