Update: Chicken and Vegetable Stocks

In the midst of writing the earlier Ramen Soup post, I did a quick site search on stock making.  If it’s here, it isn’t very searchable.  My apologies.  Today, I’m posting information on making both a handy chicken stock and an easy vegetable stock.  (We’ll leave beef, fish and other stocks for another round.)

Onion, stock backbone

A few notes on stock making …

Lighter flavored (vegetable or fish) stock takes less time to prepare than poultry or meat stocks.

As a rule, the more flavorful the stock the more complex the final dish.   Roasted vegetables enhance overall stock quality.

Consider the final outcome. If you have a particular meal in mind, add or delete vegetables, herbs, and other flavorings to further enhance—such as ginger for Asian, cumin or oregano for Mexican, or smoked paprika for Spanish.

soon to be stock
soon to be stock

I stockpile bones in the freezer in a zip lock bag, and brew up a pot when I have a good supply.

Stocks with larger bones take longer cooking time.

For efficiency, begin with bones previously roasted or cooked; grilling carries big flavor.

Use caution when adding salt; too much can ruin a well executed soup, sauce, or entree. It can always be added later.

Vegetable Stock

10 cups cold water
1 large onion, cut up – peels are ok
2 cloves garlic, smash and cut up – peels are ok
Other vegetables on hand cut into large chop:  2 carrots, 2 ribs celery with leaves, handful fresh or a few dried mushrooms
Couple sprigs of thyme, or 1 tsp dried
Handful of parsley, if available
1 bay leaf
10 whole peppercorns
Salt to taste


  1. Place water in large pot over high heat.
  2. Wash and chop all vegetables; add items as they area chopped.
  3. Bring to a boil, partially cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.  Salt to taste.
  4. Strain and use, or let cool, chill, or freeze.  Makes about 2 quarts stock.

Chicken Stock

Save carcasses from baked, roasted or grilled chicken and turkey.  Store any salvaged bones in a zip-lock bag or smaller containers in freezer for future use.

10 cups cold water
1 medium onion cut up – peels are ok
2 carrots cut up – peels are ok
2 cloves garlic, smash and cup up – peels are ok
1 celery rib including leaves, cut up
2 – 3 lbs chicken or turkey parts (cooked or uncooked) backs, necks, bones, wings, carcasses etc.
Handful of parsley, if available
Couple of sprigs thyme, or 1 tsp dried
1 bay leaf
10 whole peppercorns
Salt to taste


  1. Wash all vegetables, cut into large pieces and place in soup pot.  Break or cup up chicken carcass or parts into manageable pieces and add to pot.  Add cold water and bring to a boil.
  2. When it reaches a boil, skim off any foam and impurities that may have come to the surface.  Add the herbs and peppercorns.  Reduce heat, lightly cover, and simmer 1 hour or longer.  Add water as needed to cover.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve, salt to taste, and use as needed; or allow stock to cool.  Chill and remove any fat from the surface.

Covered stock will last up to 1 week in the refrigerator or freeze up to 1 month.  Makes about 2 quarts.

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