Chicken Stock

11:30 am on 10 April 2017



When cooking a whole chicken, always save the bones and carcass to make into stock. You can freeze them until you have enough to make a big batch. Alternatively, buy chicken carcasses from the butcher or supermarket – although I do find roasted chicken bones definitely make a better-flavoured stock. Always include all the joints and backbone, as this is where the gut-friendly collagen and gelatin are mostly found.

The addition of vinegar helps draw out the nourishing minerals from the bones. For added nourishment, use a cleaver to chop up the larger bones so the iron-rich marrow is visible.




2–3 chicken carcasses

1 onion, skin on and quartered

1 carrot, skin on and roughly chopped

2 celery stalks and leaves, roughly chopped

4 parsley stalks

1 bay leaf

6 whole black peppercorns

approx. 3 litres water

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

In place of the vegetables, you can use 2 large handfuls of vegetable trimmings – see footnote.


Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot (or slow-cooker), making sure all the bones and vegetables are completely submerged.


Top up with extra water if needed. If time permits, cover and set aside for 30–60 minutes so the vinegar can begin to soften the bones to draw out the minerals.


Place over a low heat and bring to a gentle simmer – not a rolling boil as it can break down the gelatin and other gut-friendly components. (If using a slow-cooker, set it to LOW.) Skim off any foam that rises to the surface and cook for at least 3 hours on the stovetop (for flavoursome stock) and up to 24 hours for nutrient-rich bone broth (a slow cooker is useful for long cooking times). If the stock level drops below the bones, top up with boiling water to 2cm above the bones.


Remove from the heat (or switch off the slow cooker) and leave to cool completely. Scoop off the fat on the surface – this can be used as cooking fat like ghee – and strain the stock through a fine sieve.


Discard the chicken bones and vegetables.


Pour the stock into glass jars and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze in portioned containers (named and dated) and use within 6 months.



Freeze your Vegetable Trimmings

I always have a big bag of vegetable scraps and off-cuts in the freezer ready to make ‘Compost’ Vegetable Stock (page 43) or add to a bone broth brew. My favourite off-cuts are onion and garlic skins, carrot trimmings and peelings, celery leaves and parsley stalks, as I like quite a pure and simple flavoured stock, but you could add anything from the list on page 43. Using your scraps limits waste. I find cutting up a whole fresh onion for stock, just for it to be composted afterwards, feels particularly wasteful.


Reproduced from Homegrown Kitchen by Nicola Galloway, published by Potton & Burton, available nationwide

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