The perfect gravy or soup starts with a made-from-scratch stock! The hearty depth of flavor and deep savory notes of this chicken stock will amaze you!
I always make stocks Asian-style, where you maintain a rolling boil for hours, versus the European style, where you bring the stock to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. The Asian method results in a cloudier, but more flavorful stock by releasing collagen and marrow that is otherwise trapped inside the bones, taking the stock to a level you didn’t know was possible.
This method can easily be adapted for pork or beef stock. Beef stew with homemade stock will rock your world! Consider using hocks or whole pig feet for pork and beef marrow bones for beef (brown the beef bones well in the oven before starting the stock).
If you're making this for Thanksgiving, I suggest you tackle this project the weekend before. It will draw you into the holiday spirit and make your final preparations easier!
Asian-Style Chicken Stock
Yields approximately 4 quarts of stock.
- 10 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or 5 whole leg quarters
- 2 large onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 sticks of celery, leaves removed
- 2 large carrots, tops removed and peeled
- The cloves of one large garlic bulb
- Place the chicken into a large pot with a lid.
- In a skillet darkly brown the whole garlic cloves and onion quarters.
- Add the garlic cloves, onion quarters, celery, and carrots to the pot.
- Fill the pot with cold water, covering the ingredients with 4–6 inches of water.
- Set the lid on the pot and vent the lid with an aluminum foil spacer to keep it from boiling over. To make a spacer, simply fold a strip of foil into a piece about 3" x 1" and around 10 layers thick. Bend the spacer into a U and straddle it over the edge of the pot so that it stays in place when you open the lid.
- Bring the stock to a rolling boil and maintain the boil for 10–12 hours.
- Frequently skim the foam and crud, especially for the first several hours.
- Add hot water as needed to maintain the water level in the pot.
- After 6–8 hours, remove the softened bones from the stock, chop them into 2–3 pieces each with a cleaver or a pair of poultry shears, then return the bones to the stock. This step enriches by the stock by releasing the marrow.
- For the last 1–2 hours, stop adding water to the stock and let the water level reduce by 4–6 inches to concentrate the flavor.
- Remove the stock from the heat and cool it as quickly as possible. Set the pot into your sink and partially fill the sink with cold water and ice. Stir the stock frequently and replenish the ice as it melts.
- When the stock has cooled, strain and transfer it to covered pint or quart-sized containers. Refrigerate the stock until it has completely chilled. Store the stock in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to three months.
- As it cools, a layer of fat will solidify on the surface, which helps keep the stock fresh. Before using the stock, scoop off and discard the solidified fat. An Asian style stock contains a lot of collagen, which causes it to set up when it’s cold. Warm the stock slightly to liquify it.
My chicken stock recipe takes more time and effort than a lot of other recipes online, but none of those compare to the depth of flavor in an Asian-style stock and the feeling of satisfaction when you sit down to enjoy the work of your own hands.
This stock is excellent as a base for homemade soups or for the most delicious gravy you’ll ever eat:
Still have questions? Visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA or call us at (717) 355-0779 for help with your outdoor cooking questions. We carry everything you need to cook outdoors, but more importantly, we have personal experience in smoking and grilling and are happy to help you overcome your cooking challenges free of charge.
About the author: Matt Miller is an employee at Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply and avid student of all things barbecue. He enjoys developing recipes, trying new seasonings, and helping customers with their smoking and grilling questions.