Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock is both necessary and an indulgence.

I say this because it will always add a better depth of flavor (read: not just salty chicken water) to whatever you’re making – therefore, it’s necessary.

It’s also an indulgence because it’s just so damn delicious!

I use chicken wings for a couple of reasons: they’re inexpensive and have lots of bones.

I roast the chicken wings for one reason: flavor development.

This is one of those lazy Sunday recipes … and it makes the house smell amazing!

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs chicken wings
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, unpeeled, ends trimmed off, cut into thirds*
  • 4 celery stalks, ends trimmed off, cut into thirds*
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
  • Small handful fresh parsley (about 20 sprigs)
  • Small handful fresh tarragon (about 5 sprigs)**
  • Small handful fresh thyme (about 15 sprigs)** 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 8 quarts water

* If I have parsnips on hand, I’ll substitute some of the carrots and celery stalks.

**If I have other herbs available, I may substitute dill, a little sage, a tiny bit of rosemary, or oregano for the tarragon and/or thyme. I always use parsley and bay. I’ve also been known to throw in some dried tarragon and thyme in desperate times.

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 450. Take 2 half sheet pans and pour one tablespoon of olive oil on each pan, spreading it out.
  2. Divide the chicken wings among the sheet pans and flip over the wings so both sides have oil on them. (No need to season, the stock gets seasoned later)
  3.  Roast for 30 minutes, turn over, roast for another 30 minutes. (If it gets a little smoky…open  a window and turn off the fire alarms)
  4. Meanwhile, add all of the other ingredients to a large stockpot (16 to 20 quarts).
  5. When the chicken is done, put it in the stockpot.
  6. Add a few tablespoons of water, dry white wine, or dry vermouth to each sheet pan.
  7. Over a low heat, scrape up browned bits on the sheet pans and pour everything into the stockpot.
  8. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.
  9. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours.
  10. Let cool for 30 minutes.
  11. Discard all solids. Pour through a fine mesh strainer so only the gorgeous stock remains.
  12. Package in containers, date, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Makes about 6 quarts.

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