Chicken Stock

Total Time:
14 hr 30 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
8 hr
Cook:
6 hr

Yield:
5 quarts
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 4 pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2
  • 4 ribs celery, cut in 1/2
  • 1 leek, white part only, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 to 10 peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 gallons cold water
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe

Place chicken, vegetables, and herbs and spices in 12-quart stockpot. Set opened steamer basket directly on ingredients in pot and pour over water. Cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the liquid. Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon or fine mesh strainer every 10 to 15 minutes for the first hour of cooking and twice each hour for the next 2 hours. 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. Cool immediately in large cooler of ice or a sink full of ice water to below 40 degrees. Place in refrigerator overnight. Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and store in container with lid in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months. Prior to use, bring to boil for 2 minutes. Use as a base for soups and sauces.


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4.4 80
My first attempt at making homemade stock and it came out horribly.  No flavor whatsoever. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this just as described, and it is the best, most flavorful stock I've ever used. Thanks Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
With everything getting so high in price at the grocery store I thought I'd make this stock after watching Alton make it on Good Eats(love that show. I made it just like he did and froze it in muffin tins and then put them in bags(great idea. My husband and I had a hankering for some chicken noodle soup so I was excited too use my new stock. All I can say is WOW!!!! What a difference the stock makes. It was fabulous. Best soup I've ever made because of the stock. I'll NEVER buy it from the store again. It may take a while to make but it is well worth it. God Bless item not reviewed by moderator and published
it's unfortunate i didn't catch fritz1113's review before i attempted making this stock today. i guess the 5 stars at the top of the page were enough to win me over, and hey—it's Alton Brown. his culinary tips are usually flawless, but for the first time ever, i've encountered disappointment with the Good Eats genius. :( followed the recipe to a T, and was excited to end up with so much chicken broth. i even attempted my first consommé with some of the stock, and was floored at how bland it was. it made me realize that the 2 gallons of water is TOO much for this recipe. my mistake was not tasting the resulting stock. again, i trusted my cooking hero. but i'm thankful for the lesson learned. always taste! and always read reviews. i feel bad to rate it a 1 star because it's not that bad, but i think it's important for the average 5 star count to come down. people should be aware of the water problem. i'm hoping i can still fix this chicken stock tomorrow... i still love you, Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Michael Ruhlman, in his book Ratio, recommends a ratio of 3:2 water to bones for stock making. One gallon of water weighs 8.3 lbs. thus for each gallon of H20 you would need 5.5 lbs. of bones. This ratio is consistent with the one recommend by the CIA. This ratio probably seems extreme to most home cooks; it certainly was developed from the point of view of the professional kitchen with an ample supply of bones to throw in the pot. For the mirepox he calls for a 5:1 ratio of water:vegetables (and mirepox is normally 2:1:1 onions:carrots:celery so this means 1.6 lbs of mirepox for each gallon of water. The CIA ratio for mirepox is a little lighter than Ruhlman's, calling for about half the amount. He also notes that the finished volume of stock starting with 1 gallon of water would be 0.8 gallons. AB's Recipe is about 4:1 water to bones ratio. (2 gal =16.6lbs to 4 lbs bones Ive made and it is very WEAK. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe, but like most of the other happy posters, I have altered it a bit. I likely use 1/2 gallon to 4 lbs of chicken, give or take a little. I start by first simmering the chicken, which usually includes at least some thighs and / or legs with meat, alone for a couple hours. I take the chicken with meat out and cool, remove the meat for use somewhere else or more likely as an offering to the cats which are at this point psychotic because the entire house smells like chicken. I add back the bones, then the veggies and herbs, simmer a whole lot more. I strain and let it cool, then either put 2 cups per bag for chicken noodle soup starter (yum or reduce down by half and fill a silicone mini brownie mold and freeze. The little stock cubes pop right out of that mold and are the perfect size. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a solid recipe. I personally use the cooking process more than the actual recipe. I used about 7 lbs of chicken. Approximately the same amount of water. Onions instead of leaks, celery seed, lots of garlic cloves, a parsnip, a few bay leaves, a teaspoon or two of salt depending on my taste preference as it goes. Can always add a little more water if I get it too salty but I'm pretty good at judging. I'll say to everyone who finds it bland to just add some salt. It really adds what you find it to be missing I believe. I'm making matzo ball soup for Rosh Hashana and will use the skimmed fat for the matzo balls. Remember that all recipes should be tweaked to your own preferences in my opinion. item not reviewed by moderator and published
As written, it turns out great. Rich flavor and perfect jello-like consistency when chilled. Within minutes the house smells amazing. I have modified mine slightly by first roasting the bones at 375F for 45 minutes, then adding a cup of white wine, two sprigs of fresh rosemary and roughly a tablespoon of herbes de provence, mostly for the lavender, to the above recipe. I find the flavor to be a little richer and more complex, and great for soup. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This stock smells so marvelous! I was going to use it right away to make chicken soup because I have a cold, but I think I'm going to let it sit in the fridge like the recipe calls for. I halved the recipe because I just didn't want that much stock. I didn't have a chicken carcass, so instead I used six fillet thighs. More expensive, I know, but it is what I had on hand. The only change I made to the herbs and spices was just a scant sprinkle of ground sage. And, I did add a couple of grinds of sea salt. I've never used the method of holding down everything with a steamer basket. I used a heavy sieve instead, but it was brilliant. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Well, this recipe fell a bit flat. You need more chicken and less water than what is listed. Also, this needs salt!!! Otherwise, a good stock recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have used this stock multiple times for several dishes and it's just plain excellent!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I agree with most of this except the amount of water (I would use one gallon and add hot water as needed, a good amount of saffron but no thyme, bay leaf or garlic, but I do add at the very least, 4 parsnips. I do not peel the carrots or parsnips rather wash and brush them clean. I use the brown skin cooking onions, cut off the stems and wash them but leave the all the brown skins on for coloring.... I always use the backs (not the necks but I also use a big package of wings and a few feet if I can find them (nails/claws removed. The next day, when I pull the stock out of the fridge, it is thicker than jello.... then I know I did it right! item not reviewed by moderator and published
An Old Standby. Never fails. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved the steamer basket idea. You can diffidently taste the difference. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make a few batches of this every fall. Ample chicken supply is crucial. This beats store bought stock any day. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this twice now, and I've learned a few things. 1. If you don't use enough chicken, you will NOT get the rich flavor and texture that we're after. You basically want to pack the pot with chicken parts, leaving only barely enough room for the veggies, and cover with water. 2. Roast your chicken parts the day before you make this, then refrigerate them overnight. I throw all the pieces into a roasting pan and roast at 475, flipping the pieces once during roasting. 3. Check the bones after about 8 hrs, and use tongs to break the bones in half, then let it go another 2 hrs. This lets the liquid get to the marrow inside the bones. Important point to remember - if you taste the finished product with NO ADDED SALT, you will not taste any salt! The point is to have frozen, unseasoned broth which you can add to any dish and not worry about over-salting the dish. You can make a reduced sauce and season it to taste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
To breaux.jennifer_10321225: The steamer basket is used as a "weight" to keep all the ingredients submerged. Hope that helps. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make this stock nearly once a month and store it in soup-pot size portions in the freezer. This stock is a great base with nice body for soups and many other dishes. The fact there is no salt in this stock is a really good thing because salt can be added as appropriate to the recipe which I make later using this stock. When I simmer the stock, I give it just enough heat to get some noticeable bubbling action in the pot; the stock has a nice light color. When the heat is higher and the stock boils instead of simmers, the end result tends to be a stock which is noticeably darker. I always add a few extra pepper corns along with an extra bay leaf just to be a recipe rebel! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm in the process now of trying this. I'm confused thought -- what do you do with the steamer basket? It says put it on top -- but what do you put in it? When do you take it out? Help! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make this at least once a year (during the winter before cold season hits, then I can just plop the pot in a snowbank to cool it instead of buying or hoarding ice). I have learned over the years, though, to make sure to cook it hot enough. Too low on the heat and you get no flavor. And I usually cook it for longer, too. Today I started it at 7:30 and took it off the stove at 7:00, and it's still in the ice to cool now, at 11:00. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just okay. Needs some salt and flavor. Took too long for the ok results. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Alton your are awesome! You never fail me. Thank you! Your Best Fan xoxo item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've tried 3 other chicken stock recipes - with no luck - this is the best!!! Thanks Alton for such a delish recipe and so easy to make. Because there are only two of us, I use a small chicken instead of the scraps. Stock freezes beautifully too! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my go-to stock recipe. I half the recipe since there is just the 2 of us in the home and I don't have a 12 qt stock pot. Sometimes if it's not golden yellow enough for me I'll add a 1/2 tsp of turmeric in the last 30 mins of simmering. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Alton is pretty good at providing some great basic recipes. I think the more bones and pieces, the better. For anyone having 'flavor' issues, make sure you have a good carcass--large or more than one. That's where most of the flavor comes from, along with the veggies and herbs of course. But if you're a salt fiend, then this recipe might be a challenge. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good way, but for a richer stock, try the baked and crushed bones way. I have the recipe, but a lot of Cajun-Creole recipe books do as well with several variations. Most, if any, will crush the bones with pliers to get the marrow out though. item not reviewed by moderator and published
loved it... item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great stock. I paired it with AB's chicken and dumpling recipe and it was a hit. Thanks for another great recipe Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this stock on more than one occasion. I've even used it as the base for an entire Thanksgiving dinner. It instantly smells delicious and tastes even better. I roast a lot of chicken and always save (by freezing) the bones, the seasoned skin, and left over cooking liquid. After accumulating enough, I throw them all in the pot along with a few raw drumsticks and wings. Using pre-roasted bones really helps develop a nice rich flavor. Also, it's worth using high quality chicken, both for your health and for the quality of the stock at the end. It really enhances the flavor, as the chicken wasn't artificially fattened with anything (like water or other chemicals) before being sold. So, you're just getting pure protein out of the bones and meat. If you've had trouble with this recipe, I'd bet it's because you didn't use roasted bones. And you really do need a lot of them... item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is a wonderful way to use up whole chicken carcasses after cutting up from the market. Not only does it save money buying whole chickens, but you gain a wonderful stock that can be used for lip-smacking soups and sauces. I place 4 chicken carcasses in a 20 quart stock pot with carrots, onions and celery along with Italian herbs, garlic cloves and peppercorns. i do wait until after the stock is complete before adding salt. This alleviates over-salting. i put this on to simmer before going to bed and when I wake up, it's ready to strain. I just use a collander and cheesecloth. After straining, i reduce it further, so that I can bag it in quart freezer bags for later use. Keep up the Good Eats, AB! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Gotta love Alton Brown. This is a great stock. Nice building blocks for anything. He also has a great chicken noodle soup recipe that I use it in. Just keep in mind if you can't cook don't blame the recipe or the chef who made it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have to admit I am not an AB fan. I started out liking him, but the more I watched his show and tried his recipes the less I liked. Now I just avoid his stuff complete. This recipe came up as the top search on Google. It is just awful. Great aroma in the house while cooking. No flavor at all. Waste of 6 hours. item not reviewed by moderator and published
great all-around recipe, love it for the nutritiousness (perfect for cold season!) item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is another winning recipe from Alton Brown, gastronomical genius. Take the time to make this savory broth. Not only will you be rewarded, you home will smell fantastic. Yankee Candle should duplicate this scent! I used the carcasses of two chickens. The yield was 25 cups of stock. I am now ready to make risotto, sauces and more. Thanks again, AB. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely fabulous. I've made chicken stock many different ways; this is by FAR the best tasting stock I have ever made. Rich and flavorful, and really easy. Don't let the long simmer time scare you away; it requires very little active time. Well worth it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
On a snowy day I looked forward to filling my kitchen with the scent of cooking stock. No such luck. No taste, no smell, no nothing. Maybe my chicken parts were too old. Next time I'm going to use wings and brown them first. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Last year my husband and I tackled a turducken, so we had one each of a turkey, duck and hen. Then we had a little Thanskgiving dinner with friends where we had another turkey carcass. We put all of that in one big stockpot and doubled the other ingredients and the water (when I put one gallon in the pot I couldn't even see the waterline!). It smelled incredible and it tasted wonderful. I put three cups each in quart bags and popped them in the freezer. The stock lasted me six months! It was so rich and well-rounded from all the different birds! To cook with it, I'd just cut the quart bag off of the frozen stock with scissors, then put it in a pot on low until it melted. If I had any left over I would sip it--so warm and good for body and soul! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I would've rated this a 1 star, but the smell of it was fantastic. The taste on the other hand wasn't great. I'm not sure what caused it, but my stock came out very sweet. Maybe it was from the carrots or the onion, or both. It had an extremely sweet flavor to it that was very strange and just didn't taste right to me. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this today and it is wonderful!! I just used the chicken backs that I had in the freezer. Turned out Great!! Nice and rich too. Freezes well. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe. The store bought can get very pricey. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is well worth the time, and as other reviewers have pointed out it's really a minimal amount of "active" time to prepare. Just leave it simmering on the stove for an afternoon, and it makes the kitchen smell wonderful! In addition to using 1 chicken carcass leftover in my freezer, I roasted about 6 chicken leg quarters the night before I started the stock. In the morning, I discarded the skin and pulled the meat off the leg quarters, setting the meat aside for chicken soup and using the bones and some meat scraps for the stock. It turned out amazing, super flavorful and rich. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Darlene I have no idea what happened, maybe you forgot something, this recipe is nowhere near "flavorless". I do like to add 2 whole cloves to my stock as well for added flavor. Thanks AB! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Mine turned out just as you demonstrated in the show - thick and lumpy the next morning. I've used it so far for your chicken noodle soup recipe (delicious) and in risotto. There are moments for store bought stock but for real flavor this is my go-to recipe. Amazing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Followed directions to the letter because I have never made chicken stock before. When I used the stock to make soup it was aweful no flavor no taste nothing at all. Family put a ton of salt and pepper into it. It was a huge waste of money and 6 plus hours of my day. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe. I've made it about three times now. The chicken soup recipe that goes with it is OUTSTANDING. I have made it with spent chicken carcasses and with just chicken backs ($1.50 at the butcher -- can't beat that). Someone asked if one chicken carcass is enough. Probably not. I'd freeze one until you have two of them to use. You really want to come as close to 4 pounds as possible. This recipe takes a long time, but only about 30 minutes of actual work, spread out over an afternoon. Freeze the leftovers using a muffin tin as an oversized ice tray. Makes it very easy to portion out. Also delicious in black beans and brown rice recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this about twice a year for the last few years and freeze to use as needed. Recipe works great. To answer Bennet's question I use as much chicken as I can lay my hands on. The more you use the richer the stock seems to be. However, the amounts in the recipe are enough. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Is one whole chicken carcass enough or do you need more than that? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this once on a whim and have not been able to buy the store-bought stuff since. One thing I'd suggest is trying this with Cornish hen carcasses if you ever have the chance, it's even more tasty and the bones break down very easily. The chicken soup recipe made with this stock is probably the best soup I've ever had in my life. Thanks Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this twice so far, outstanding! Used it in a chicken noodle soup I took to a party last night, everyone raved about it. I followed the recipe exactly, but I added the fresh herbs only during the last hour of simmering. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I started making stock after watching this episode several years ago. I made it for my parents, then made a marvelous Mulligatawny soup. My father who was just out of the hospital and on a NO sodium diet marveled at the wonderful taste and texture. I try buy as little chicken stock as I can. In fact, I just bought a chest freezer to allow me to store it more conveniently! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this right after Christmas, and loved it how easy it was. I think I'll add a little kosher salt next time, though. It's just a little flat for my family's tastes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
You've done nothing wrong when it turns to gel once cooled. The bone marrow causes this when you simmer it for a long time. That's what makes it really good. So welcome the gel. Yum!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was one of many recipies I have made from the Good Eats library. My first attempt i used one cooked and one uncooked turkey carcass and the flavor was spot on. My mom said it was better than hers and wants me to make her more! Alton makes it easy to alter the ingredients to suit your taste and needs and what you can find in your local "megamart." item not reviewed by moderator and published
The episode is great as usual, but I'm a little confused by the recipe. My book "The Professional Chef" from the CIA calls for twice as much chicken (8 pounds) and half as much water (1 gal). Also, my book notes that cooking aromatics (the veggies) and spices too long will break down their flavor and make them flat, so you should add the mirepoix 2 hours before the end of cooking time, and spices in the last 30-45 minutes. I'm cooking Alton's stock right now and it tastes like it's way too watery after 7 hours. I'm going to try my chef book's recipe next time, but keep in mind all of the great tips from the episode. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Although an all day project, this recipe is easy and produces LOTS of great tasting chicken stock. Thanks for a great recipe Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
To the anonymous person who wrote this -Help - it turned to jelly Wonderful, that is exactly what you want it to do. I fret when my stock does not turn into jelly. I believe it has something to do with which bones of the chicken that you used, some are more gelatinous than others item not reviewed by moderator and published
this reccipe is outstanding. Allows one to control how much spice to add and easy clean up. I have made this stock several times and it just gets better eack time, mostly when one is feeling under the weather. Thank you Alton for the recipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
The stock is great and smelled wonderful. As soon as I strained it I used some to make a wonderful chicken noodle soup. But when I chilled the remainder, it turned into a big bowl of jelly. Any suggestions on what when wrong? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Perfect for when you're sick (I only used it to get some nutricion in me when I had a flu) item not reviewed by moderator and published
The stock was good but difficult with way too many ingredients. Ingredients that did not alter the taste enough to merit all of the work. I've made a much simpler recipe and had it taste as good item not reviewed by moderator and published
Do you place the steamer upside down on the ingredients and then pour the water over?? Thanks item not reviewed by moderator and published
The hardest part of this recipe was finding the leeks at the supermarket. It was so simple: just toss it all in the pot and let it go. I don't have a fancy steamer basket like AB, so I just used a wire mesh strainer and it worked just fine. item not reviewed by moderator and published
When it says "carcass" are we talking about an already cooked chicken? Thanks. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is really easy for a beginner like myself to do. I used this for the first time last winter and made so much stock I stored enough in the freezer to last until the spring. I actual don't have a stock pot so have to half the recipe but it works well too. Definitely give this a try and you will not want canned stock any longer. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is really the best stock recipe around. Once you get the hang of it, you can substitute vegetables and amounts. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It is so easy to make your own chicken stock with this recipe. And everything tastes better with real chicken stock instead of broth. Leave it to Alton to find a great way to use up those "other" pieces of the chicken. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very low sodium, taste good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe. The stock I make from it always is always a delicious base for sauces and soups! item not reviewed by moderator and published
great....time consuming though item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think I'd still add a little salt to this stock. I like the idea of the leak in place of onion. It makes for a milder stock. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent taste and easy to make item not reviewed by moderator and published
Everyone loves when I make my soup from this stock. The problem is, when I first made it, I got very little stock once it was done cooking. I had added water throughout the cooking process, but it just seemed to evaporate away as soon as I added it. I have since started cooking it in a much larger pot and now make a TON. I figure if you are going through the trouble of this and cooking it all day, might as well get the most bang for your buck. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Whenever I want to master one of the basic fundamental tasks in my kitchen I look to Alton Brown's recipes. He gives you all the tools you need and an explination to boot. This chicken stock is not only delicious, but the process used in this recipe allows you to maximize the flavor of your stock by rendering all of the goodness out of the bones. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Well, I didn't have a huge stockpot so I used a 4 quart stock pot so I made the recipe using a 1/4 of the ingredients. I couldn't find fresh thyme either, so I used a little bit of dried, then sieved it out later, and I also added a cut up turnip. It was a very yummy chicken soup that I later made and I still have some stock in my freezer for later use! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the very best stock recipe I've ever tasted - period; like, others have mentioned, I've made this recipe using pig, turkey and deer bones. I stored the finished stock in canning jars. The only thing really difficult about this recipe is resisting the temptation to consume the entire pot at once! It is that good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
When I first saw the chicken stock / chicken soup episode, I thought this is pretty simple. It was. It takes time but it's not labor intensive. There is a very nice fragrance while all this is cooking. Cutting to the chase. The stock that came out of this recipe made the best chicken soup I've ever had in my life. My whole family loved it also. Can this recipe be rated any higher? Enjoy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
great item not reviewed by moderator and published
We eat homemade soups regardless of the weather and this recipe has saved me a lot to time preparing the soups we like the best. By freezing the broth in ice cube trays, we have stock for many other recipes including gravies. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This stock is very easy and tastes wonderful. My house smelled good all day as it simmered. item not reviewed by moderator and published
At our family reunion, we roasted a 170 pound pig for 12 hours. When I discovered they were going to throw away the carcass, I scooped it up and made several batches of this stock. Even though I didn't use a chicken like Alton did, it was fantastic!!! I poured what we didn't eat into ice cube trays. Those cubes came in really handy for several months thereafter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I like making stocks, and this is the best chicken I have seen bar-none item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely nothing went wrong. That gelatin and it's the substance derived from the marrow in the bones. When this glorious, gelatinous mass is reheated, it melts. You did GOOD! Really good!<br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published

Not what you're looking for? Try:

Rich Chicken Stock

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay