Basic Chicken Stock

Yield: 2.5 quarts Stocks are the foundation for soups and sauces, but can also add flavor as a substitute for plain water when cooking grains or braising meat. Martha Stewart makes this basic chicken stock recipe on the “Stocks” episode of “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School.”


  • 5 pounds assorted chicken parts (backs, necks, legs, and wings), rinsed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Basic Chicken Stock

  1. Place chicken parts in a stockpot just large enough to hold them with about 3 inches of room above (an 8-quart pot should do) and add enough water to cover by 1 inch (about 3 quarts). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, using a ladle to skim impurities and fat that rise to the top.
  2. Add vegetables, bay leaf, and peppercorns and reduce heat to a bare simmer (bubbles should just gently break the surface). Cook, skimming frequently, for at least 1 1/2 hours and up to 4 hours.
  3. Pass stock through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a large heatproof measuring cup or another bowl or pot; do not press on solids. Discard solids.
  4. Skim off fat if using immediately, or let cool completely (in an ice-water bath, if desired) before transferring to airtight containers. Refrigerate at least 8 hours to allow the fat to accumulate at the top; lift off and discard fat before using or storing stock.


  • Stock can be refrigerated up to three days or frozen up to three months; thaw completely in the refrigerator before using.