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Ingredient: Poultry Stock


Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock

Casper Moller via Flickr

Poultry stock is where the question of light or dark comes up most often. A dark stock is made from roasted ingredients and a light sauce is made from raw. The dark has a richer and deeper flavor, but if you want a lightly colored sauce it's a bad choice. Furthermore, you can make a lightly colored sauce using a whole, raw chicken and then strip off the meat for use in chicken salad, stir-fries, and enchiladas.

You will find a general tutorial on making stock in this article on Homemade Stock and I suggest reading it before starting.


  • 4 lb. bones and meat (see below*)
  • 1 1/2 lb. onions; peeled and quartered
  • or1 lb. onions and 1/2 lb. leeks
  • 1/2 lb. carrots; peeled and broken up
  • 1/2 lb. celery stalks (including greens); broken up
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 12 whole pepper corns


1. Place all ingredients (except pepper corns) in an 8-quart stock-pot and add water to within 2-inches of the top.

2. Place over high heat, partially cover and bring just to a boil - but don't allow to boil. Immediately begin reducing heat to maintain a gentle simmer (it will take about an hour to gradually reduce heat to low). During this period skim off any foam that accumulates on the surface.

3. Add pepper corns and simmer for 3 - 11 hours more adding additional liquid if needed to keep all ingredients covered.

4. Strain out solids through a colander, then pour stock through a sieve lined with doubled cheese cloth to filter out small solids.

5. Cool, then refrigerate overnight.

6. At this point you will have a pot of gelatin with a layer of fat on top. Skim off the fat and discard.

Again, please read Homemade Stock. It may answer most of your questions.

*Note: A friend of mine begins his stock with a large (4 pound) whole chicken or 4 pounds of turkey legs and after simmering them for 40 minutes removes them from the pot and slices off the meat for use in salads, stir fries, and sandwiches – the bones go back in the pot for the remaining cooking time. I've usually got a chicken carcass or two in the freezer or maybe a couple of raw backbones and to these I'll add a package of chicken wings. For a dark stock, roast a bunch of chicken or turkey wings and legs in the oven until well-browned then use them in the stock.

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