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Chicken Stock and Chicken Noodle Soup

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Chicken stock is one of those basic kitchen practices that everyone should know. It’s probably THE kitchen practice to know.  It is liquid gold. It’s a thing of beauty. It’s full of flavor and it’s delicious. It’s also dang near free if you make it yourself.

With Thanksgiving coming up, you are going to need a lot of chicken stock. I bet the average American spends $10 – $15 on Thanksgiving chicken stock alone if they aren’t making their own. Maybe even more.  And homemade is sooo much better than store bought. Even the “really good” store bought stuff.

Now, if you have been a good little girl ( or guy!) you have been buying bone-in chicken at the store and taking the chicken off the bone before you cooked it and then stuck all of your unused bones in a big ziploc bag in the freezer.

You haven’t? Well, start today. Chicken stock is the single best reason to by bone-in chicken breasts for $.99/lb.  You can also use the half dead veggies living in the bottom of your fridge. Not the gross ones, but the ones that are starting to look a little tired.

The one thing you need lots of is time. The longer you can cook your stock the better.  You can get a good stock after about 4 hours but if you can get up early enough, 10-12 hours is even better. I cooked this one for about 6 hours and it was delicious.

Since one good thing follows another, I made chicken noodle soup for dinner. A great stock will make a great soup and this was great soup.

So what do you do with your stock after you have made it? Well, it will keep in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze it ( some people like to freeze it in ice trays), or if you have a pressure canner you can can it.


Chicken Stock

3-4 pounds of chicken parts

2 carrots, cut into large pieces

1 large onion, quartered

3 stalks of celery ( and leaves!) cut in large pieces

4 cloves garlic, smashed

12 peppercorns

a heavy pinch of salt

a bundle of fresh herbs like sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley ( you can use dry if you’ve got no fresh)

2 bay leaves

water to cover

Put everything in your biggest pot and add enough water to cover.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let barely simmer for 4 – 12 hours. Taste the liquid and season with salt and pepper. Then strain your broth into a large bowl.

Place this bowl in the fridge and let cool. Skim off the solidified fat. Use or store!

Chicken Noodle Soup

6 cups of chicken stock

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks of celery, diced

2 cups of cooked chicken, diced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 T fresh parsley, minced

1/3 box of spaghetti, broken into small pieces

salt and pepper to taste

Saltine crackers to serve

Add everything in a big pot, except the chicken. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until everything is tender. Add the chicken to the pot and cook another 5 minutes. Serve with crackers and enjoy!


This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Yum! I recently started making my own stock and will never go back to the canned/boxed stuff unless it’s an absolute emergency. This time of year is perfect to start making your own! It’s great to have on hand in the freezer to use as a base for making gravy, too! When making chicken noodle soup with my stock, I like to buy the frozen, thick cut noodles you can find in the freezer section (ex: Reames brand). SO good!!!

  2. I made chicken stock a few weeks ago, and you’re right – it costs practically nothing and tastes SO much better. I put my stock up in quart-sized ziploc bags, let all the air out that I can, then lay them flat in the freezer. When they’ve frozen, I stand them up side-by-side. They hardly take any room in the freezer and thaw quickly. Congrats on the Food Buzz Top 9!!

  3. Can I start this on the stove to bring to boil, then put into crock-pot?? I have a big crock-pot and it would be easier!!! Can leave it that way.
    Thanks for any and all suggestions!

    1. I would think so. Just make sure the stock doesn’t come to a boil. You really just want it to barely simmer. Great question!

  4. Friday after Thanksgiving is stock day also. Carcass from the turkey etc. When stock is done, dog gets cooked veg, gristle, little bits of meat, skin, etc. I put a few spoonfuls on her usual dinner each night and reduce the “wet” dogfood by that much. Recently learned that onions are somewhat toxic to dogs. So I put the cut up onion in cheesecloth and discarded it with the bones.

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Jodie is a wife, mom, writer and lover of chickens and gardens. She runs her family's winery by day and cooks and writes by night.

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