Chicken Stock

This recipe was adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe, although with some changes, including a skin-on yellow onion and use of filtered water, which helps keeps solids submerged.

Yields 5 quarts

  • 4 pounds chicken carcasses, especially wings and feet (when available)
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered, skin on
  • 4 carrots, halved
  • 4 ribs celery, halved
  • 1 leek, white part only, halved lengthwise
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems (I prefer the taste and aroma of flat-leaf or Italian parsley, but use what you can find or what you prefer)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 to 10 whole peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 gallons filtered cold water (add filtered hot water as necessary to keep solids submerged)

Place chicken, vegetables, herbs, and spices in 12-quart stockpot. Set an opened steamer basket directly on ingredients in pot. 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 a low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon or fine mesh strainer every 10–15 minutes for the first hour of cooking and twice each hour for the next two hours. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for 6–8 hours. Discard the solids by straining the stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot or heatproof container. Cool immediately in a large cooler of ice or a sink full of ice water to below 40°. Place in refrigerator overnight. Store in a container with a lid in refrigerator for 2–3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months. Prior to use, remove fat from surface of liquid, and bring liquid to boil for 2 minutes. Fat can be used as schmaltz in other recipes. Use the liquid as a base for soups and sauces.