Chicken Stock


4 pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs
1 large onion, quartered
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2
4 ribs celery, cut in 1/2
10 sprigs fresh thyme
8 to 10 peppercorns
2 gallons cold water


Place chicken, vegetables, herbs, spices and water in a 12-quart stockpot. Cook on medium-high heat until the “stuff” starts to boil. Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer. Every time you check on your stock – skim the scum with a small strainer Cook this way for about 2 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for another 2 -4 hours.

Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot container – discarding the solids. Sometimes I do this a second time but place either cheese cloth or paper towels in the strainer to remove all suspended particles. Cool the stock and refrigerate. Next morning, remove solidified fat from surface. If all had gone well the remainder will be either very tasty stock or very tasty jelly that when heated up turns into a very tasty stock.

You should break up into separate containers – what you will use in the next week, keep in the refrigerator, the remainder should be put in the freezer for future use

Just a note – you do not need to throw all types of spices and crap into the stock. Keep it simple, later as needed you can add garlic, lemon, or whatever you want to season with based on the recipe you are making.