Preparing Chicken Stock

I recently ran across The Fannie Farmer Cookbook in an antique store. This book was originally published in 1896. Fannie Farmer’s name is still well-known today.

Reading Fannie Farmer’s recipe for stock intrigued me. I’ve made chicken broth from chicken but realized that is different from Fannie’s chicken stock.

Instead of making stock using chicken wings, necks, backs, and bones, I decided to use a whole chicken. This gave me boiled chicken to make soup for an easy supper the following day.

A local butcher cut up the chicken for me. Included in the package were the neck, heart, gizzard, and back. I used the legs, breasts, thighs, wings, neck, and back and discarded the rest.

Wash the chicken and put into a large pot, holding out the breasts and wings to be added later. Add eight cups of cold water. Cut one peeled onion in half and place in the pot. Add six baby carrots or peel two carrots and cut them into thirds.

Slice in half three celery stalks, including the leaves. Add a bay leaf, a teaspoon dried thyme, and six crushed peppercorns.

Cook on medium high heat until water begins to boil then reduce to simmer. Since white meat cooks more quickly than dark meat, add breasts and wings after the stock has simmered for twenty minutes.

Cover and simmer until chicken is done. Mine was ready in about an hour. Remove chicken from pot. Debone. Add bones and skin back into the stock and continue simmering.

Refrigerate the chicken for later use in another recipe.

The total simmering time is four to five hours, which includes the time it takes to cook the chicken.

Fannie suggests waiting to add salt until using the stock in a recipe. This allows for salty flavors of other ingredients.

Should you choose to season the stock itself, add salt to taste just before it is done.

Strain the stock and allow to cool. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Stock made from bones will gel in the refrigerator. When the broth thaws out, skim off the top layer of fat.

This smells and tastes delicious, even without salt. The stock smells so aromatic and appetizing that your family may be hungry for supper a little early.


-Sandra Merville Hart


Revised by Cunningham, Marion and Laber, Jeri. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1983.



One thought on “Preparing Chicken Stock

  1. Pingback: Chicken Gumbo Soup Recipe | Sandra Merville Hart

Comments are closed.