Classic Chicken Stock

Classic Chicken Stock

I used to buy cartons or cans of broth or stock to use in my cooking. I occasionally made a quick and easy chicken stock, but after viewing Celeste Rogers’ Start-up Cooking Library on Craftsy, I added a French-style stock to my repertoire.  

Mirepoix 

The basic elements of the stock are Mirepoix—onion, carrot, celery—and parsley. Just add chicken and some seasonings, and you’ve got a nutrient-rich stock that adds flavor to many different dishes. Celeste’s advice for Mirepoix is in the ratio: equal parts celery and carrot, with onion equal the amount of combined celery and carrot. Did you know that Cajun cuisine has a similar trifecta? The “Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking” is onion, bell pepper and celery. 

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Scrap That

As with my favorite vegetable stock, I use ”scraps” when they are available, which is often. Veggie scraps are great, but normally reserved for vegetable stock. For this recipe focus is on the chicken—spine and organ meat not used in the butterfly / spatchcock technique. How many times have you had leftover parts from poultry and tossed it? Get full use of the chicken by making this stock. 

About Classic Chicken Stock

Unlike many dishes, stock is not about presentation (although you may want it to be as clear as possible). None of your ingredients needs to look good. It’s all about the flavor. The point is to cook the flavor (and nutrients) out of every single ingredient and then strain solids out.  With a fine mesh strainer, you can get clearer stock.

I never add sodium to my stock. You can add it (or a sodium substitute) later based on the recipe. Classic Chicken Stock is gluten-free and oh, so versatile. Use it in place of water for rice or a grain (e.g., quinoa) to add flavor. Use it in soups, sauces, and as a base to cook vegetables, meats, and plant-based proteins. It freezes well, so no problem if you don’t use it all up within a few days. Simply pour in ice cube trays and throw the cubes in a freezer bag.

If you’ve got time on your hands, make it old school on the stove top. My favorite part about this method is the smell that fills the room. If you need to go fast, then try making it with an Instant Pot. 

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

John Lennon
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Classic Chicken Stock

Mirepoix is the “holy trinity” of French stocks like this classic chicken stock. Make it stovetop or with Instant Pot.
Course N/A
Cuisine French
Keyword chicken stock, food basics, mirepoix, stock
Prep Time 14 minutes
Cook Time 43 minutes
extra time for stovetop version 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes
Servings 11 cups
Author Lisa Kamolnick / Food Passages

Equipment

  • Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker (optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 C scrap or diced onion
  • ½ C scrap or diced chopped or sliced carrot include tops, bottoms, and peels if clean-scrap can sometimes darken the stock so if clear, light stock is important hold off for the best-looking bits
  • ½ C scrap or diced celery (avoid tops)
  • 2 C chicken parts e.g., spine, organ meat, carcass
  • 1 TSBP grapeseed or canola oil
  • ¼ tsp peppercorns whole (about 12 to 14)
  • 1 large bay leaf or 2 small
  • 10 sprigs of parsley or parsley stems
  • 12 C water

Instructions

  • Prep the vegetables listed above the oil ingredient: chop and dice into large to medium-sized pieces. Rule of thumb is the carrot and celery should be equal amounts and the onion should equal the amount of carrot and celery combined.
  • Pour grapeseed or other vegetable oil into a stock pot and heat to medium.
  • Add all ingredients except parsley and bay leaves.
  • Sauté until vegetables soften a bit and onions are translucent.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered about an hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Strain the stock through strainer and discard solids. Cool and store or use in a recipe.

Instruction Adjustments for the Instant Pot

  • Using Sauté setting, follow directions above. Turn off Sauté and add water. Ensure water does not go over the max line of your cooker. Select stock setting on Instant Pot and follow instructions for your version. After the stock cooks, turn off. Strain stock and discard solids. Stock is ready to use or store.

Notes

Serving Suggestions

Use as a base for soups and sauces. Infuse flavor in rice and other grains. Add to meat, vegetable or plant-based dishes. 

Tips

  • Stores in refrigerator about a week and in the freezer about 3 months.
  • To freeze, pour into ice cube trays and store in freezer-safe plastic bags or store in freezer-safe containers.

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