Scrumptious Weekend Vol. 28: Homemade Chicken Stock – A Building Block of cooking

by Paris B on · 25 comments

in Food & Lifestyle,Tips

I haven’t been updating my “Scrumptious Series” for a while now, not because I haven’t been eating or cooking anything scrumptious, but because blogging on weekends take it out of me. So, I’ve decided to be all flexi-bendy and reposition this as a Scrumptious Weekend instead.

To get back into the groove, I thought I’d share my weekend project from last week – homemade chicken stock. I posted a picture of this on Instagram and had some requests to share how I did it so here it is.

homemade chicken stock Scrumptious Weekend Vol. 28: Homemade Chicken Stock   A Building Block of cooking

I have recently developed a taste for my homemade tom yam soup, and soups in general and I wanted to have ready stock on hand for when I want to add that robustness of flavour in my cooking e.g. sauces, soups, stews etc without using just plain water and seasoning. So, I set about to make my own stock. I don’t like the overly MSGed ready to buy stock we get in the supermarkets, and if I wanted something high quality, it’d cost me a lot… or I could make it myself! icon biggrin Scrumptious Weekend Vol. 28: Homemade Chicken Stock   A Building Block of cooking It’s not hard, and it’s very handy to have in the freezer for when that soupy craving kicks in icon smile Scrumptious Weekend Vol. 28: Homemade Chicken Stock   A Building Block of cooking

I modified mine from this recipe (2nd one) but I pretty much made it based on what I had on hand, and I cooked it longer so you can be a little more adventurous.

What you need:

  • A large stock pot
  • 2-3 chicken carcasses cut up or about 2kg of the bony parts of a chicken e.g. ribs, back, wings etc. These can be raw or from a roasted chicken
  • 3 large yellow onions, chopped (yellow onions are sweeter than the purple bombay onions)
  • Olive Oil
  • 4-5 litres of water
  • Salt to taste

Makes about 4 litres of stock. Adjust as you see fit, use as much or as little ingredients as you like!

homemade chicken stock2 Scrumptious Weekend Vol. 28: Homemade Chicken Stock   A Building Block of cooking

1. Start out by heating up your stock pot (it usually has high sides to hold lots of water) with some olive oil. Saute the chopped onions until they are soft but not brown, then remove from your pot and place in a bowl.

2. Add in half your chicken parts and brown them all over. Remove, the repeat with the remaining balance.

3. Add the chicken parts and onions back to your pot and reduce your heat, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn. The chicken will start releasing it’s juices.

4. After about 20-30 minutes of slow cooking, you will notice that you have got quite a lot of liquid in the pot. Ensure your fire is kept low so it doesn’t boil off. You may boil the water you have prepared at this point.

homemade chicken stock3 Scrumptious Weekend Vol. 28: Homemade Chicken Stock   A Building Block of cooking

5. Pour in the boiling water (or if you have a small kettle like me, I boil as much water as I can, the top up the remainder with cool but ready boiled water). Turn up the heat for your pot and bring the water to a boil. Skim off the fat or sum that rises to the surface to have clearer stock. Add some salt – about 2-3 teaspoons for this amount of liquid should be right. Then, turn the heat back down until it is barely simmering and leave to simmer for 1-2 hours on very low heat. I intentionally left it to simmer longer to extract as much flavour as I could. It also results in a stronger stock.

6. When done, use a slotted spoon to scoop up the larger bones from the soup and then strain it through a cheesecloth or muslin cloth. This removes the little bones and solids in your stock and gives you the pure liquid goodness. Discard the solids. I minimize waste by picking through the bones for any meat on it. It can be used in a stirfry or in your soup noodles etc.

7. That’s your stock right there! Let it cool a little.

8. If storing for future use, pour them into clean glass bottles, let them cool then put straight into the freezer. Remember that liquid expands when frozen, so never fill it right to the top!

I won’t deny that this is quite time consuming and the washing up will kill you thereafter, but when you make your first soup or stew or sauce using your homemade chicken stock, you will never look back. I intentionally do not flavour it so it doesn’t change the flavour of my dish.

If you like, add in some vegetables like carrots, celery, parsley, garlic or pepper corns to your stock. I chose not to but I will next time to try something a little different and perhaps add a little sweetness to the stock icon smile Scrumptious Weekend Vol. 28: Homemade Chicken Stock   A Building Block of cooking When using the stock, add water to it to dilute and flavour it. I made lovely tom yam soup with it and I’m going to use it as my base for kimchi jjigae next icon biggrin Scrumptious Weekend Vol. 28: Homemade Chicken Stock   A Building Block of cooking

Do you make your own chicken stock and if you do, what other things do you put in it?

This was my first time doing it, but it definitely will not be my last. It’s not expensive, it comes in very handy when cooking during the week, and because you know what goes in it, it’s healthy too!

Paris B

Scrumptious Weekend: One day of the week where I indulge in my other love – Food! It will feature my cooking experiments or eating and travel adventures. Yes, I will travel for good food and I’m always experimenting in the kitchen.

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[ 25 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Nicoles Mirror September 29, 2013 at 9:56 am

Paris, does the stock you made actually alter the tom yum soup? After all the seafood and herbs that I dumped in, I can hardly taste chicken in my tom yum soup.. So I end up using just filtered water now..


Paris B September 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Hi Nicole, no the stock doesn’t alter the taste of the soup but it does add depth which I don’t get when I use just plain water :) There is no real “taste” to the stock to be honest. It just serves as a base, and you build on that with whatever you want to add thereafter.


Mrs Top Monkey September 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm

OK I have to admit I’m usually too lazy to make this and it’s usually OXO cubes for me but when I do, it’s worth the effort.

You remember those strainers used in traditional kopitiams? Look like a butterfly net but made with cloth? Well, I pop my littler bones into them and then put that into the pot. Easy to fish out later. Someone taught me that. You can buy the strainer from Chinese sundry shops or…. surprise! – Village Grocer in Bangsar, which is where I got mine moons ago.


Paris B September 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Haha gosh I remember using OXO cubes back in the day too! I sometimes would use the Knorr cubes too but when I realised I’d yell at my mom for using it I felt a bit hypocritical using it myself :P Oh and thanks so much for the coffee sock idea! OMG Will save me a whole load of trouble!


lisa September 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I make vegetable stock on and off. I use mainly lots of chopped up carrots, radish, sweet corn and some candied jujube or dried fig. I use this as a steamboat soup base too. I love the clear, sweet taste of this soup. Homemade soup base is just so addictive isn’t it? :-)


Paris B September 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm

That’s a great idea for a steamboat soup base Lisa, thank you! Yes, a homemade stock base is just wonderful. You know just what’s in there and you know you can drink up every single drop! I don’t drink soup outside because of all the salt and MSG


Jaime September 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm

The chicken stock looks yummy! Would you be sharing how to cook your version of Tom yam soup? I am a super lover for good Tom yam !


Paris B September 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hey Jaime, I’ve had many requests for the tom yam so I’ll share it but don’t hold your breath waiting yeah? LOL I am trying to perfect an easy to eat/drink soup without having to contend with all the bits. But I have to say that since learning how to make it, there’s no turning back! :D


The Nonya September 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I do the same but to save space, I usually freeze them in muffin pans, then when frozen, I scoop them out & chuck them into freezer bags to keep.


Paris B September 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm

That is genius Nonya! :D :D Thank you so much for the fab idea!


Sunny September 29, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Hey Paris, I keep thinking I want to do this, but I haven’t so far! I might have to roast a couple of chickens and save the bony parts for this purpose though. They don’t sell those separately here! I bet your homemade Tom Yam soup is delicious!


Paris B September 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Well technically you could make it with a whole chicken too! Chop it up, then don’t cook it too long. 1 hour on a slow fire, then tear up the meat and use it in salads or sandwiches or pies etc :)


Sunny September 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Hey Paris, I keep thinking I want to do this, but I haven’t so far! I might have to roast a couple of chickens and save the bony parts for this purpose though. They don’t sell those separately here! I bet your homemade Tom Yam soup is delicious!


Sunny September 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Oh nooo I accidentally clicked on it again and now I left the same comment twice! Sorry!


Paris B September 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Haha no problem! ;)


Mari Ohira September 30, 2013 at 4:32 am

At home we do chicken stock from scratch as well, but without seasoning – just using chicken feet. My mother says that chicken feet have lots of marrow and flavour. I find those feet dreadfully ugly, but the greasy stock that comes out of them tastes really good and we use it as base for soups. We also keep it refrigerated in large cubes (using Tupperware).


Paris B September 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Oh yum! Chicken feet is delish haha :P I have read about using chicken feet too, to give the stock a more gelatinous texture due to all the skin and tendons. It’s great isn’t it?!


Mari October 3, 2013 at 9:22 am

Yes, it’s very gelatinous and supposedly good for your health – all that collagen, haha! Heart warming, indeed.


Paris B October 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

Oh yummy! Very easy to get chicken feet here so I’ll try that next time :)


Beauty Box September 30, 2013 at 9:36 am

I only make chicken stock once a year – and that’s for my annual CNY dinner in Tokyo with friends and we always do hot pot since it’s in the dead of winter. I add carrots and onion to the mix and my friends always love the slightly sweet and savoury flavour in the robust chicken stock soup. Other times of the year, I prefer to make veggie soup stock since the clean up is way easier – radish, carrot, onion, garlic, a strip of kelp seaweed and dried mushrooms whip up a flavourful soup base which I add to any soupy/gravy dish. Having soup stock in the fridge is such an essential tool to cooking delicious meals!


Paris B September 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I have to try making vege stock next time Yuming! Thanks for the idea and the suggestions of what to put in it. I’m sure adding the mushrooms add to the robustness of the flavour! I’m never going back to not having stock on hand


Applegal September 30, 2013 at 10:58 am

Wa, the amount of work that goes into this! Good for you! I thought of doing this but the amount of time and work involved is putting me off for now :P


Paris B September 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

LOL It’s worth it and once you put it to simmer, you don’t have to bother about it at all for the 1-2 hours that it’s cooking! Or, as others have suggested, vege soup stock works too :D


Ting October 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Hello Paris! I love homemade stock!! I usually use chunky pork bones because HE has gout (grrrr) therefore chicken stock is banned.

A surprising way from you to make the stock. I would just throw everything into boiling water and call it a day. HAHAHA. I suppose frying them in onion first make a really nice flavour. :)

When I make my version with pork bones, I throw in a clove of peeled garlic into boiling water first. Boil it for awhile and then put in the bones and then vegetables. This is a “secret” method told to us by a chef friend who worked in Thai restaurant. :p

My mum always tell me to put soy beans with the chicken stock. Very yummy too. We love to cook mee-suah with home made stock. Like instant noodles but healthy version. :)


Paris B October 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Oh yum! Pork none stock would be soooo good! Its much pricier here to use pork hence my use of chicken. I didn’t know chicken could affect gout sufferers! Browning it before cooking makes the flavour stronger. When I make soup, I don’t brown before hand, but I do with stews. I think browning isn’t a Chinese thing haha! ;)


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