How to Make Chicken Stock Without a Recipe (But There's a Recipe!)

Remember that time, just a month ago, when everyone was in awe of the warm weather outside and we thought, "Aw, man. I kind of miss the snow, and that delicious nip of cold in the air..." HOW WRONG WE WERE! I haven't seen the ground in two weeks, and I have an industrial-sized bottle of lotion by my side practically 24/7. But I suppose it could be worse. It could be 2 degrees F outside. OH WAIT. ALSO HAPPENING. Someone wake me when Spring gets here.

I will say this: when I have nowhere to go, there is nothing prettier or more serene than the wintery wonderland I see out my window. It's so peaceful, and so beautiful. It makes the cold almost worth. Almost.

But Midwestern winters aren't all bad; freezing temperatures give me the chance to catch up on all the domestic projects that I keep writing down on my never-ending list. One big one? Making homemade chicken stock!

It's 2016, people. Let's start making our own.

I go through a lot of chicken stock at my house. I use it for burrito bowls and soups, mostly, and I definitely get tired of running to the store all the time to pick up multiple containers. It's so incredibly easy to make at home, PLUS, you're not wasting a thing! All you need is a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (you can use the meat in sandwiches, salads, on nachos, in soups, etc. etc.) and some of your favorite vegetables and herb seasonings. It's so simple, so economical, and VERY TASTY.

The fun part about making your own chicken stock is that you get to modify it to your particular tastes. If you like things a little spicier, kick it up a notch with a teensy bit of cayenne (a lot goes a long way). If you hate celery, leave it out! And homemade stock is an especially fun thing to make when you have a ton of leftover veggies and nothing to put them in. Waste not, want not.

Your main ingredients are: a chicken carcass cut into pieces, water, salt, and pepper. After that, it's up to you! Once you've put the ingredients you like into the pot, fill it with water so that everything is covered by about 1-2 inches, bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for three hours. If at any point you start to see the water level get a little low, simply add more! And that's it. Once your stock is done, skim off any film that's reached the top with a slotted spoon, strain the stock into a large bowl, and discard all the solids. (Here's a tip: When I'm using fresh herbs, I like to tie them all together with a little kitchen twine. That way, once it's time to strain, I can easily fish them out. ) Make sure your stock is completely cool, then separate it evenly into Mason or Weck jars. If you have plans to use it within a week, pop some stock in the fridge. If you've got future plans, pop your jars in the freezer. It lasts indefinitely. Just make sure to defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before you use it!

And there you have it. You can totally make homemade stock without a recipe! But if you're looking for a little guidance, scroll down for what I put in mine.

Everything's better homemade.



What You'll Need:

  • 1 chicken carcass, broken into pieces
  • 2 whole onions, quartered
  • 8+ baby carrots, chopped
  • 5 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4+ sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
  • Pinch of salt


In the bottom of a pot that is at least 4 quarts, place the broken-up chicken carcass, onions, baby carrots, celery sticks, garlic cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, and salt. Make sure that everything is evenly distributed.

Fill the pot with water until all of the contents are covered by at least 1-2 inches of water.Place the pot over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, then let simmer for 3 hours. The stock will occasionally bubble, and the contents may shift a little bit. If the water starts to reduce, add more. You want to make sure that everything is fully submersed in water at all times.

Using a slotted spoon, collect and discard any foam or film on the top of  the stock, then strain the stock into a large bowl. Throw away all of the solid pieces that have landed in the strainer. Let the stock cool completely before transferring it evenly into Mason or Weck jars. If you're planning to use the stock within a week, store it in the refrigerator. If not, it will freeze indefinitely. Once you're ready to use it, simply let the frozen stock defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

Hey, you just made chicken stock. 'Grats.


SOURCE: Adapted from The Kitchn Cookbook

Saturdays Downtown


There are always perks to living in a city. This weekend, after five years of living in Boston, I finally made it to the Boston Public Library (BPL). Well, let me rephrase that: I finally got the chance to look around without being restricted to the rooms my professors mapped out for class trips.  While I think that I've been there at least three times before, this was a trip that I got to take just for me.

I have to say, it is getting CHILLY here on the East Coast! But I run with Midwestern blood in my veins, and a higher tolerance for cold weather. In fact, sometimes I actually get excited when I see the temperature, because it means that I get to wear my warm boots and coat. The other day, it was 39 degrees and I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face. I don't know what's wrong with me. 

DSCF0527 DSCF0528

I didn't take my trip downtown alone. At Copley, I met up with my best friend Anna (this is her blog!), and we practically ran inside because the wind had picked up so much that I wondered why I even bothered combing my hair in the first place. 


And while the wind was blowing, and it had to have been close to 48 degrees, we braved the weather to visit the one part of the library that I've only seen from above: the courtyard. It's true what they say: the courtyard is the true jewel of this place. It's huge, it's peaceful, and if you visit at the right time of year, you can get little lunches from the cafe, and just lounge. It really is quite fantastic, and definitely worth a few minutes of shivering.

Though the BPL is huge and historic, and there are things to look at in every room, it is, after all, a library. So unless you're there to study, or check out books, your visit will be rather short-lived.  But it was no matter. Anna and I had tons of catching up to do (we hadn't seen each other in weeks!). It was time for some hot chocolate in a quiet cafe, but before we could make it, Anna suggested we visit a place that should never be refused:



How can you ever say "no" to visiting a chocolate shop? I'll be honest, the things I knew about Lindt before our visit were limited to the commercials I see during the holiday season; presumably their busiest. So to actually go inside a shop was pretty interesting...and delicious. WOW, there is a reason that people can't get over those chocolates! Within the first five minutes of our visit, a nice sales associate approached us and offered a sample of their seasonal chocolate: milk chocolate with white chocolate inside. Heavenly. Those are little balls of Heaven wrapped up in some shiny, blue foil. After that, I was hooked, and kind of sort of impulse-bought a number of chocolates that might be too embarrassing to admit. But it's FINE because I'm totally planning on taking them home and sharing with my family! You know, if they make it home without getting eaten.

Hanging out with Anna is always the most fun. In the six years that we've known each other, there has never been a point when we weren't laughing, or exploring, or even sitting around watching movies. True friendship is when you can do absolutely nothing, but still enjoy every minute of it. That's when you know you'll always be best friends. 

 The start of the holiday season is upon us! Tonight, I've got some speed-packing to do, and speed-collecting my recipes! THIS IS THE YEAR THAT I GET TO HELP COOK THANKSGIVING DINNER. I'm TOO pumped!! 

I want to hear all about what you've got planned for Thanksgiving!!


Happy Tuesday, and STAY WARM!

singature gray





Finally that time of year where it's getting a little too cold to be outside for long stretches of time, but not too cold to play in the leaves...and eventually snow. Did I hear correctly that Vermont is getting their first snowfall of the year this weekend? If so, good luck, Vermont! We've got a little warmth left here in Boston.  

But as the cold starts to unpack it's belongings for the 4+ months ahead, now is a good time to start making a list of every single thing that I want to bake. You would not believe the amount of recipes I save to my "Bookmarks" everyday, and that's where most of them stay. I save so many that I forget they exist! Well, that's all about to change. And I need your help!


Are there any recipes that you just can't live without?? I'd love to know! Then, we can make it together and giggle a bunch while we pretend that we're not going to have another piece, cookie, bite, etc, but we totally do!