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Basic Chicken Stock

Use this versatile chicken stock as a base for classic soups, such as Broccoli Cream Soup and Creamy Tomato Soup. The recipe is adapted from the "Martha Stewart's Cooking School" cookbook.

  • Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 quarts
Basic Chicken Stock

Photography: David E. Steele

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October Fall 2008


  • 5 pounds assorted chicken parts (backs, necks, legs, and wings), rinsed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


  1. Place chicken parts in a stockpot just large enough to hold them with about 3 inches of room above (an 8-quart pot should do) and add enough water to cover by 1 inch (about 3 quarts). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, using a ladle to skim impurities and fat that rise to the top.

  2. Add vegetables, bay leaf, and peppercorns and reduce heat to a bare simmer (bubbles should just gently break the surface). Cook, skimming frequently, for at least 1 1/2 hours and up to 4 hours.

  3. Pass stock through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a large heatproof measuring cup or another bowl or pot; do not press on solids. Discard solids.

  4. Skim off fat if using immediately, or let cool completely (in an ice-water bath, if desired) before transferring to airtight containers. Refrigerate at least 8 hours to allow the fat to accumulate at the top; lift off and discard fat before using or storing stock.

Cook's Note

Stock can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months; thaw completely in the refrigerator before using.

Reviews (9)

  • robert12 30 May, 2013

    Include a little bit of devoted delight on your few days along with red-colored, white-colored, and also orange DIY design honoring Commemorative Day time

  • sbmulqeen 18 Jan, 2013

    I made this on a cold day and it was the perfect stock. I regularly save chicken parts and my farmers market sells B&E parts to fill it in (back, rib, feet, whatever). I let it sit overnight (outside) to get all the fat off. I don't have silicone muffin pans so am worried about freezing in a muffin pan may try zip bags. Plus that way they can lay flat. Or my food saver, even better. Really, it's so easy to make this, there's no excuse not to!

  • claregirl7 2 Aug, 2012

    I buy Perdue's whole cut up chickens throughout the summer for bar-b-ques. It includes the back and all the giblets. I toss them in zip lock freezer bags and in the fall I make several pots of stock from them and freeze them in muffin tins. Then when I make roasted chicken, which is at least once a month from September to April, I have plenty of stock for gravy....not to mention soups, too. I wish Bell & Evans had whole, cut up chickens too.

  • twribet 24 Feb, 2010

    If I plan to freeze the stock what is a good amount to freeze per use and what is best freezer storage method?? plastic containers zip bags?

  • kaleidoscope 26 Feb, 2009

    This is a wonderful tasting chicken stock. I have used an almost identical one for over 30 years and my family and guests rave over the flavor. The bay leaf makes the difference, so keep a fresh container handy in your spice rack.

  • bubbiefour 26 Feb, 2009

    I love chicken soup, and make the stock quickly using a pressure cooker. 30 minutes to a thick, yellow stock. Also if I can get a hold of them, I add chicken feet. Makes the soup gel.

  • LarryUnitas 26 Feb, 2009

    I buy and freezee legs and thighs when on sale < $ 0.69 per pound.
    Freeze the meat in small packs for salads/sandwichs. ::-)

  • Janna1 26 Feb, 2009

    silicone muffin pans what a great idea!

  • mpoulin 26 Feb, 2009

    After I cool and lift off the fat, I pour stock into muffin pans and place in freezer on sheet pan for stability (I use silicone pans for easier release). Once frozen, take out of muffin pans and store in freezer bags. Makes individual servings for multiple uses. Works great!

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