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My Mom’s Chicken Stock Recipe 2.0

May 3, 2022 | by Lena Beth Schneider

This recipe is an amalgamation of wisdom passed down from my mother, culinary intuition, and a little supplemental Googling on my part. It primarily uses freezer-preserved chicken bones and vegetable scraps.

I save up the bones from any chickens I roasted throughout the month and all of the carrot ends, onion cores, and garlic papers from meals I’ve prepped. (Yes! Even the papery parts!) Onion and garlic papers contain vitamins A, C, E, and tons of antioxidants.

The recipe is highly forgiving because you strain all ingredients out after the stock pulls their flavors. Don’t have bay leaves? Sub out thyme, dill, or another herb you prefer. Don’t have enough veggie scraps? You can always use fresh, whole vegetables. As a baker, I love a solid recipe to follow, but this is not the time to fret about teaspoons and ounces. The idea is to build as much flavor as possible with all of your leftovers or pantry items. #zerowaste


  • 4 pounds chicken bones, preserved in your freezer
  • 6 quarts water, or enough to cover the bones
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 cups onion scraps, enough to piece together about 2 onions (or use 2 fresh onions, unpeeled and quartered)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and halved crosswise (around the “equator”), plus any garlic paper
  • Other vegetable scraps you’ve preserved in your freezer
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 parsley sprigs
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider or white-wine vinegar


  1. Place chicken bones, water, carrots, onion scraps, celery, garlic, any extra scraps, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, peppercorns and salt into a large stockpot (probably the biggest you own). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer.
  2. After about 20 minutes, using a fine mesh strainer or large spoon, skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Add thevinegar.
  3. Simmer the stock for up to 8 hours, covered. Check periodically to ensure it stays at a simmer.
  4. Carefully strain through a fine mesh sieve, reserving the broth in a clean pot. Discard the solid ingredients - by now they’ve given up all of their flavor and nutrients (aided by the vinegar) to the broth. Let the broth cool.
  5. Scrape off the fat that congeals on the surface. (This fat can be saved in the fridge or freezer and used in place of butter to roast vegetables, or for a number of other uses.) If using the stock immediately, return to the stove and bring to a boil. Season with salt to taste and add bite-sized veggies. Boil for about 10 minutes, until veggies are tender. This stock is also a great base for matzo ball soup. The stock can be refrigerated for up to five days, or frozen for up to three months.

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