Chicken Stock is the “liquid gold” of professional chefs and kitchens. It’s so versatile, useful for making soups, braises, stews, purees, sauces or pretty much anything you like. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise — Making your own chicken stock at home is as easy as boiling water and chopping up some vegetables.
I’ve included two recipes for chicken stock: a white chicken stock, and a brown chicken stock. Both are equally great. If you’re looking to make a recipe such as potato leek soup, white chicken stock is the way to go. It’s rich, clean and the subtle flavor and color will keep your soup a nice pearly white. Now, if you share my love of French Onion Soup, then it’s time to whip up that delicious brown chicken stock. This recipe calls for roasting the ingredients, which lends a more robust, meaty flavor.
I’ve included some invaluable chef tips that I’ve learned from my mentors over the years in both recipes. Most tips, such as adding a quick onion brulee (which is literally what it sounds like, a burnt onion) to your stock, are an easy way to take the dish to the next level. I’ve been adding onion brulee to my chicken stocks ever since I learned this trick. It adds a depth of flavor, richness of taste and a classic golden color to your chicken stock.
One last thing: Don’t forget to save the meat from those chicken legs and wings after you’re done making the brown chicken stock. The leftover meat becomes super tender and great for mixing into salad and stir-fry, or tossed into braises. Of course, you could always just add a little mayo and bread for the perfect sandwich snack.
Brown Chicken Stock
Prep Time: 45 minutes | Cook Time: 6 to 8 hours (simmer overnight for hands-off cooking) |Yield: 1 gallon or 4 cups (if reducing)
- 1 carrot, 1” dice
- 3 onions, 1” dice
- 6 celery sticks, 1” dice
- Farm2ChefsTable Tip: This combination of veggies is called a “mirepoix.”
- ¼ lbs tomato paste
- Farm2ChefsTable Tip: Adding tomato paste to mirepoix makes it a “pincage”
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil or canola oil
- 3 cups red wine
- 15 chicken wings
- 1 chicken leg
- 4 chicken feet (optional)
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 peppercorns
- Water, add enough to cover the chicken, veggies, and herbs by 2 inches
Farm2ChefsTable Tip: Use a stock pot that is taller than wider to keep the stock from reducing too much during cooking. A large crock pot with a lid will work wonders with this technique.
Steps by Step
Prepare the Pincage and Roast Chicken
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
- Brown the vegetables in a pan for 12 minutes over medium heat on stove
- Add tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes on the stove
- Add red wine to deglaze (remove the drippings at the bottom of the pan), then set aside the drippings (fond) in the pan
- Reduce wine to half, then turn burner off and set aside.
- Roast the chicken legs and wings in the preheated oven in a single layer in a roasting pan until browned, about 35 to 45 minutes
- Trim the fat from legs and wings (Farm2ChefsTable Tip: Save this fat for cooking things like potato pancakes)
Build and Simmer the Stock
- Place legs and wings in a large pot with the uncooked chicken feet (optional)
- Cover with cold water
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
- Skim the fat and impurities that rise to the surface, then add the pincage, bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns
- Simmer for 6 to 8 hours, or place into crock pot overnight
Strain & Serve, Reduce to Gravy or Freeze
- After 6 to 8 hours, strain and serve. (Farm2ChefsTable Tip: You may also reduce it to make a gravy, or freeze it for later.)
- If you choose to reduce, do so until it thickens, evaporating about 1/4 of the liquid (yields 4 cups). This is “liquid gold” in professional kitchens. It makes a nice gravy for Roast Chicken or the Classic Holiday Rib Roast with some horseradish.
- Alternatively, you can freeze it (without reducing) and use it as a base for soups (French Onion Soup is my favorite), or for Braising Yummy Short Ribs or Cold Weather Stews.
This wonderful brown chicken stock is a go-to in all professional kitchens. The best part is you don’t have to do it all in one day. With my quick 3-day prep plan, you can make this dish by budgeting just 15 minutes of prep work or less per day.
Day 1: Prepare the Pincage
Total Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Cut and roast the veggies in a pan with tomato paste
- Add red wine and scrape up the pan drippings (fond)
- Store pincage in the fridge for tomorrow
Day 2: Roast the Chicken and Simmer the Stock
Total Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Cook Time: 35 to 45 minutes, plus 6 to 8 hours of simmer time (overnight)
- Roast the chicken legs and wings in the oven at 350 until brown for about 35 to 45 minutes
- Remove the delicious fat and save it for other recipes
- Add legs and wings to your stock pot or slow cooker, along with chicken feet (optional)
- Add cold water to cover the chicken and vegetables
- Skim away the fat and impurities that rise to the surface
- Add the pincage, bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 6 to 8 hours (Farm2ChefsTable Tip: Simmer overnight for truly hands-off cooking.)
Day 3: Strain & Serve, Reduce to Gravy or Freeze
Total Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Cook Time: 45 minutes (if reducing)
- Strain the liquid and your chicken stock is ready.
- Alternatively, you can reduce the stock to make sauces and gravy, or simply freeze it for future use in braises, stews and soups
There you have it! Chicken stock. Easy! Veggies, chicken and herbs. By budgeting 10 minutes or less a day, you can create one of the most important foundational ingredients that a chef needs to cook a variety of yummy dishes. Now you’re cooking like a chef at home!