Traditional Roasted Chicken Stock

This week, we’re kicking off Thanksgiving Prep! And what better to start with than the lifeblood of the holiday: chicken stock!

For day-to-day cooking, I use Kitchen Basics stock almost exclusively. However, in certain instances, I opt to make it from scratch. When anyone in my home isn’t feeling well, I turn to my Flu-Fighter Chicken Stock, infused with healthy immune boosters like fresh ginger and lemongrass. It’s life-giving!

However, for my holiday food preparation and recipes in which the stock is the star (ie Chicken Noodle Soup), I prefer this Traditional Roasted Chicken Stock. It’s a celebration of the traditional flavors of sage, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon. Furthermore, roasting the chicken and veggies first boosts those deliciously sentimental flavors. It makes a killer gravy perfect for your holiday table!

A few tips I’ve learned over the years

  • I recommend using a Dutch oven to make this an easy, one-pot recipe.
  • It seems counterintuitive, but you do not need to remove the skins or papers from your onions and garlic. Simply chop the veggies into the appropriate size and toss everything in!
  • Did you know skimming the fat is not necessary when making stock? Fat is flavor! However, if you prefer a lower fat stock, let the stock cool first. As it cools, all the fat will rise to the top, making it very easy to spoon off and discard.
  • To add the biggest health boost, break your chicken bones in half after roasting, exposing the bone marrow to the liquid. Also note that when you get a lot of collagen in your stock, it will appear gelatinous when cooled. This is a good sign! It will liquify again when it’s heated.
  • If your stock tastes bland, it most likely needs more salt! For reference, I use 3 TBSP of salt in my 6-quart Dutch oven, plus liberally salting the chicken before roasting it.
  • If you prefer to substitute turkey for chicken and make turkey broth for your Thanksgiving table, we recommend using 3-4 turkey wings and preparing the same way.

Traditional Roasted Chicken Stock

(1) 5-pound whole chicken or chicken pieces
3 TBSP olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
4 celery stalks, chopped into large chunks
2 medium onions (or shallots, if preferred), cut into large chunks
1 head of garlic, cut in half
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 sprigs of fresh sage
4 sprigs of fresh tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste (salt will be 2-4 TBSP, depending on amount of water)

Heat oven to 400F degrees.

Place chicken on the bottom of a large heavy roasting pan, like a Dutch oven. Add carrots, celery, onions/shallots, and garlic around the chicken. Drizzle chicken and veggies with olive oil to coat and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until beginning to brown, about 1 hour. Browning is good, but don’t let anything burn, or it will make your stock bitter. Once everything is nicely brown, remove from the oven and let it cool until you can handle it with your hands.

Using your fingers, remove all chicken meat from the carcass and set aside to use in other recipes (like chicken noodle soup using this stock!). Return all bones, cartilage, and skin back to the Dutch oven. For an extra smooth stock, break the bones open to reveal the marrow.

Add enough water to your Dutch oven to cover the chicken and vegetables. Add all the herbs and salt. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Gently simmer for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. If you notice too much broth evaporating, add more water and reduce the heat.

After 3 hours, carefully pour stock through a sieve into large bowl; discard all the remaining solids. Allow stock to cool. Skim any excess fat that rises to the top of your stock, if you wish (this step is not necessary).

Chill and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or freeze to use later.

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