• How to Make the Best All-Purpose Chicken Stock


An Essential Building Block of Cooking

By Andrew Zimmern

For my all-purpose chicken stock, I like to use a mixture of raw and roasted chicken bones for the perfect balance between light and dark stock. It’s liquid gold. Once you know how to make chicken stock properly, you can apply that technique to other stocks made of vegetables, shrimp, veal or beef. It’s an essential building block of cooking that can transform the flavor of a dish.

How to Make the Best All-Purpose Chicken Stock


  • 5 pounds fresh chicken back, neck and wing bones
  • 2 cups carrot, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 1 leek, greens trimmed and discarded, split and washed
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide bones in half. Place half of the bones in the oven on a sheet tray. Roast until browned, about 50 minutes.

Boil a 1/2 gallon of water. Place the raw bones in a large colander in your sink. Rinse with cold water first, then with the boiling water.

Place 2 gallons of water in a 3 or 4-gallon pot over low heat. Place all the bones, the cooked and the rinsed raw bones, into the pot. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring the pot to a bare simmer.

Lower heat to maintain a 200-degree temperature, with no bubbling or movement of the stock. This can be done in the oven as well. Keep steeping for 24 hours, adding the occasional cup or two of cold water if needed.

Skim the fat. Strain slowly through a cheesecloth-lined colander placed over a large bowl. Discard solids and scum at the bottom of the pot. Let cool for at least an hour. Skim the fat from the top again if need be.

Refrigerate, freeze or utilize. I like to store my stock in 1, 2, and 4-cup portions in Ziploc bags in the freezer.

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