Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Homemade Chicken Stock

on February 20, 2015

I love winter and playing in the snow – I always have. I was about 5 years old in this photo and it looks like I’m enjoying myself. I distinctly remember that hat! It was navy blue with a big white pouf and a big red pouf on the side. It also looks like I was using someone else’s gloves – those don’t seem to fit me very well.

Chicken Stock

Playing in the snow can leave you so cold and wet, you need something warm when you come inside. One of the best parts of playing in the snow is coming back inside to the warm and toasty house and a hot bowl of soup.

I finally decided to try to make my own Homemade Chicken Stock since I seem to use a lot of it every winter, and frankly, the stuff you buy isn’t that flavorful. I found this recipe in Ina Garten’s cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof  (you can find the book here). Actually, I needed some stock for soup and I didn’t have any in the house. I did have most of the ingredients to make the stock, so I decided to try it. I’ll just type out the recipe here instead of copying it – I did make some changes.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Homemade Chicken Stock

Put into a large stockpot:

1 package of chicken legs (cheaper than whole chickens, and only chicken I had)

2 yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered

4 carrots, unpeeled and halved crosswise

1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise

6 sprigs of dried thyme (from my summer garden)

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black peppercorns (not ground)


5 quarts of water

Bring to a boil.

Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 4 hours, skimming off any foam that comes to the top.


Strain through a colander (she says to throw away all the solids, but I have a hard time throwing all that chicken).

Pack the liquid in quart containers and refrigerate or freeze for up to 4 months.

(Ina used more fresh herbs and parsnips in her recipe, neither of which I had, so I didn’t use them. This is also a smaller batch than her recipe. I got 2 quarts of stock, plus what we used for soup the night I made it.)


I used the biggest pot I had and I didn’t have room to make as big a batch as the original recipe.


The whole house smells heavenly while this is cooking.


Look at how golden and beautiful the stock is when it’s done!


This stock is delicious! Add any vegetables or meat and whatever ingredients you want – and there you have it – soup!


Label the container so you can tell what it is and when it was made. Square containers stack well in the freezer, and don’t forget to make sure they’re BPA free!

Make this stock when you’re home for the day. It’s quick to pull together and the flavor is SO worth it!!


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