Now that you’ve made Perfect Roast Chicken, you’ve got a picked-clean chicken carcass. Don’t throw it out; make your own chicken stock! It’s incredibly easy (and gluten free), saves money, and tastes way better than store-bought broth.
If you don’t have time to make stock right away, just toss the carcass and giblets in a zip-top bag and refrigerate the whole thing for a day or two (or freeze) until you’re ready.
1 chicken carcass (plus raw giblets if you have them)
Optional but really good: A couple of onion wedges, a couple of celery stalks with leafy tops, and/or a couple of carrots, cut into large chunks
5-6 whole peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
- Place the chicken carcass, plus giblets if you have them, in a pot. If possible, add a few vegetable chunks (including celery stalk leaves, which have a ton of flavor). Toss in a few peppercorns, too, and maybe a dried bay leaf. Add enough water to cover—depending on the size of your pot, that’ll be around 8-12 cups.
- Bring the pot to a rolling boil. I don’t mean just starting to bubble; I mean really rolling. Here’s what that looks like:
- Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for 1-2 hours. Let cool completely.
- Strain the stock into a bowl or large measuring cup. I measure out 4 cups (32 ounces) at a time, the amount in a typical store-bought box of chicken broth. Compost the solids; all their flavor is now infused into the water.
- Pour cooled stock into containers. I usually use gallon-size zip-top bags, which store easily and defrost quickly (see below). Simply fill and seal bags, stack flat on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a dish towel, and freeze until solid. Once frozen, you can stack the bags horizontally or vertically in your freezer. Of course you can also pour stock into a plastic or glass container and freeze or refrigerate. Whatever you do, label the containers with the amount.
To defrost stock that’s in a zip-top bag, lay it flat in a sink with warm-hot water, replenishing as it cools. Because of its large surface area, the liquid will defrost much more quickly than stock that’s frozen a huge block.
Easy, right? And free! Use it to make flavorful soups, sauces, and cooked grains.