homemade chicken stock

Amys Gluten Free Pantry

A few nights ago we had a wonderful rotisserie chicken dinner with our oldest friends, Dan and Debbie, and their three darling girls. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I was eying their chicken carcasses. When they told me they were going to throw them out, I immediately asked if I could have them. Because Dan knows me, he just smiled and nodded. It’s not everyday a guest asks to bring home the remnants of two chickens picked clean. But then again, we’re not really guests.

You can absolutely buy chicken broth ready made, even organic – it’s a great short cut that I often rely on. But if you have the time and more importantly, leftovers, this is a way to make use of the entire bird, getting as much out of your purchase as possible. Plus, if you have nightshade allergies (it’s almost impossible to find a stock without paprika), then this is an easy alternative that produces a rich, complex broth.

I collect carcasses and keep them in my freezer until I’m ready to use them. I like to use no less than two and preferably three at a time. This recipe uses two, because I think that is more realistic for the home cook. You can use the stock as a base for hearty Chicken & Rice Soup and Holiday Rice Pilaf.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
Yield 2 quarts (8 cups)

2 chicken carcasses
1 yellow onion
, skin removed, cut in half
2 carrots, cut into thirds
3 celery ribs, cut into thirds
2 bay leaves, torn in half
9 cups water
10 whole black peppercorns
1 tsp. salt

  1. Place all ingredients into heavy stock pot and heat to high, making sure that the carcasses are covered by water. If not, then break the carcasses apart with your hands.
  2. Bring the stock boils, reduce heat and simmer uncovered, for 3 hours. Skim the top regularly for a clearer stock.
  3. Drain stock through fine mesh sieve and add more salt if necessary. Discard solids and skim any fat.
  4. Use immediately or cool completely then refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  5. Next day, skim any solid fat off the top. The stock will keep for 5 days, but it freezes perfectly. Make sure you leave 1/2 inch space between stock and lid. Or freeze in ice cube trays, popping 6 out when you need a cup for sauces.

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