How to: Zero Waste Chicken Stock

You know all those delicious organic veggie scraps that you throw (hopefully) into the compost? They are perfect to compliment a delicious chicken stock! If you are spending the money on high-quality vegetables and meat, you should be using every last piece of them. Think like a restaurant and make stock. When I roast a chicken, like my favorite Thomas Keller Roast Chicken recipe, I save the carcass after reserving all the meat and I freeze it. When I am chopping up vegetables like carrots, celery, leeks, garlic, and onion, I will keep the tops and ends, make sure they are scrubbed clean and save them in a ziplock and then put them in the freezer. Then on some lazy Sunday afternoon, I will put everything into a pot and make stock! The stock is then poured into quart-sized mason jars which I freeze and keep at the ready for the next few months.

This is more of a template than a recipe. You want to have the chicken (of course), vegetables for flavor and nutrients, and then aromatics and seasonings. Here is a secret: you know that delicious chicken stock flavor that seems to only come in bouillon tablet form? It actually comes from chicken feet which are loaded with collagen and nutrients.

Vegetables & Herbs: Pick as many as you would like. As I said, I use the un-loved ends of veggies that I have saved and frozen.



Parsley (You can save the stems and use them here!)







2-3 Chicken Carcasses or Chicken Backs

1 order of Chicken Feet



Bay leaves

Chili Arbols


*Note: Do NOT season with salt until after you have strained the stock.


Put everything in a large stockpot and cover with water. I use a 18-quart stock pot. Bring to a boil then immediately bring to a light simmer. Skim off any foam that comes to the top. Let simmer for 2-3 hours. Give it a taste and see if the flavor is where you would like it. If so, strain, season with salt and let cool to room temperature. If you are using glass mason jars, leave at least 3 inches of head space for expansion and do NOT screw on the top until frozen. Label appropriately (date and what is inside) and freeze.

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