Chicken Stock

Giorgio Locatelli shares his tips on how to make a rich and meaty chicken stock that will turn you against stock cubes for ever
By Giorgio Locatelli
Chicken Stock
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes about 5 litres
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1.2 kg chicken carcasses or chicken wings
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 carrot, halved lengthways
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 sticks celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 2 juniper berries

Tips and Suggestions

in Italy, no one roasts bones to make stock. You would simply take a whole chicken, put it in a pan with a whole carrot, an onion, cut in half, a couple of celery stalks, a couple of bay leaves, a couple of peppercorns and juniper berries, then cover well with water and bring slowly to just under the boil, and keep cooking the same way until the chicken is cooked.

The boiled meat would typically be sliced and eaten either with mayonnaise, mustard fruits or green sauce, or in a salad, and then the brood would either be served separately or kept for risotto. Whenever you make stock remember how important it is to the finished dish - the rule is that a good quality chicken makes a good quality stock, so buy the best you can find.


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

2. Put the chicken carcasses or wings in a roasting pan and roast in the hot oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden. Brush each carcass with tomato puree, and put back into the oven for 3-4 minutes.

3. Transfer the carcasses to a big pan with the rest of the ingredients and cover with about 6-7.5 litres of water. Slowly bring up almost to the boil - but don't let it actually boil or the fat that comes out of the chicken will cook into the stock, and you won't be able to remove it, even if you put the stock through a very fine sieve. It is important to take it slowly, as the longer the stock takes to come to this point, the more the flavours will infuse into the water.

4. To make clear stock, it is very important to skim off the impurities. At just under the boil you will see white foam or scum forming. Take this off by skimming the surface with a ladle, bringing all the foam to the sides of the pan, then you can just lift it off. Turn the heat down to a simmer, and continue to take off the foam regularly, until the liquid is clear.

5. Let the stock simmer for about 3-4 hours. Turn off the heat and leave to cool down slightly. The sediment will sink to the bottom. Slowly pour the stock through a fine sieve, taking care not to tip in the sediment (you will need to leave the last couple of centimetres of stock in the pan, in order to keep the stock clear). Leave to cool completely, then skim off any fat that has solidified on the surface.

6. Unless using straightaway, pour the stock into ice cube trays, cool and freeze. When the cubes are frozen you can transfer them to a bag and keep them in the freezer ready to use whenever needed.

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