homemade stock

chicken stock

I’m not sure I could survive without homemade chicken stock. For my entire cooking life I’ve had a regular routine of roasting chickens or turkeys, picking the meat off them, then boiling the carcass and freezing the resulting stock in containers. For quite a while I only used stock for Chinese noodles, but then I discovered how much better all my soups were when I used stock instead of water. Then I discovered using stock to cook couscous, make pan sauces, and simmer greens (and don’t forget gravy). I go through stock at an amazing rate, and I can’t emphasize enough how much it helps my cooking. On the few occasions where I’ve had to use storebought, it just has not been the same.

The important thing to keep in mind about making chicken or turkey stock at home is, it’s really hard to mess it up. I know you’ve seen recipes in cookbooks that have you use a particular mix of vegetables, or roast the bones first, or double-boil the whole damn batch, or make little possets of herbs. You know what? You don’t have to do any of that. Dump your leftover bones or carcass in a pot. Cover it with water. Have some tired old celery or carrot tips? Throw ’em in if you want, but don’t feel obliged.

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