Essential Chicken Stock

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs
Makes about 2 1/2 quarts

This classic stock doubles as a cold-weather tonic when rewarmed on its own -- it's also an essential building block to any chicken soup worth your grandmother's recipe.


  • 5 pounds assorted chicken parts (backs, necks, wings), rinsed

  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered

  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


  1. Place chicken, vegetables, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a large stockpot with 3 quarts water. Bring to a boil, skimming impurities as they rise to the top. Reduce heat and simmer, skimming occasionally, until richly flavored, 3 to 4 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof container. Refrigerate at least 8 hours to allow fat (schmaltz) to solidify on top; skim and reserve. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze up to 3 months.

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