How to Make Chicken Stock on the Cheap

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An easy chicken stock recipe that doesn't require you to go out and buy anything
How to Make Chicken Stock on the Cheap

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This chicken stock is simple and made with stuff you might otherwise throw away.

Chicken stock is a delicious addition to soups, stews, and rice dishes. It’s often easier to buy store-bought, but you can make homemade chicken stock on the cheap with bits and pieces you probably already have in the house.

Save everything. Whenever you make chicken, save the bits and pieces you don't cook. Buy wings with wing tips still on and keep the tips, save the bones from bone-in chicken, and hang on to any pieces of fat or scraps you don’t want to cook. Store these pieces in a freezer-safe gallon-size resealable bag in the freezer.

Photo Modified: Flickr / snowpea&bokchoi / CC BY 4.0

Even vegetable scraps. Do the same thing for aromatic vegetable odds and ends you normally toss, like the root ends of onions, carrot tops, and celery tips and leaves. Save these pieces in freezer-safe quart-size resealable bags in the freezer as well.

Vegetable Scraps

Photo Modified: Flickr / Michael Coghlan / CC BY-SA 4.0

Stock time. You’re ready to make stock when you’ve saved up about a gallon of chicken pieces and 2 quarts of vegetable bits. You can roast the bones and wing tips beforehand, or just pop everything into a large pot filled with water. Add in bay leaves, peppercorns, and any other aromatics you have around. Simmer until you achieve a flavorful stock, 1 ½ to 2 hours, skimming the foam off the top throughout cooking.

Photo Modified: Flickr / Casper Moller / CC BY 4.0

Strain and go. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer and cool immediately in the refrigerator. Store in air-tight containers in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.