Monday, September 24, 2012


I’ve been reading my fellow bloggers as they are transitioning into fall.  They speak of cooler weather, changing leaves, the donning of sweaters; they’re making soups and stews and all kinds of things pumpkin.  While that all sound cozy, and I can see it with my mind’s eye, that’s not my reality.
I live in South Florida; it’s still in the 90’s here and probably will be until Halloween.  Then in November we will drop into the high 70’s and low 80’s for the most part until the mid-May with a week of cold weather interspersed here and there.  We really only have two seasons, dry and rainy.  Us silly Northerners still imagine that we live in four seasons.  Some miss the seasons, but I don’t (living 7 years in Northern British Columbia was enough winter for me), however; I do like the idea of seasons.
This is how I pretend that Florida has transitioned from summer into fall.  I have changed the color of my nail polish from bright pinks, to more plums; my tank tops from brights to jewel tones.   I have switched my Bath and Body Works candles over from Palm Leaves, to Spiced Cider (smells like I’ve been baking all day).  Finally I make a big pot of Chicken Stock!
It only takes moments to get the stock on the stove.

 Cut a large onion into quarters.  Leave the skin on, that skin will contribute to the stock being a richer color.

Cut the celery into big pieces.

You can see that I only had baby carrots so I used about 16 of them.  If you have whole carrots, cut them into 3 or 4 pieces.
Add about 10 whole black peppercorns.

Tie the flat leaf parsley, fresh thyme, and bay leaves into a bundle. 

I like to buy whole chickens and cut them into pieces myself (it’s much more affordable than buying pre-cut chicken), usually I am left with the backs, necks and wings; so I put them into a freezer bag and freeze them to make stock with.

I put my chicken carcasses into the pot frozen, so I simmered the stock for five hours instead of four.  This is okay because there is very little meat on the carcasses.

 * If you use a whole chicken, remove the chicken from the stock pot after about 2 hours.  Remove the meat from the chicken, put the meat into the refrigerator to save for soup or another use, and return the carcass to the stock to simmer for another 2 hours.  Do not put a whole chicken in frozen!
It will be tempting to stir the stock while it simmers, but don’t; do so will make the stock cloudy.

When the stock has finished cooking, use a spider or a slotted spoon to remove the chicken and vegetables from the stock.

Discard this, it has done its job and given its flavor to the stock.

 Strain the stock into a couple of large vessels,

  using a fine mesh strainer, or a strainer lined with paper towels.


Liquid gold!


I put my stock into the refrigerator overnight and then skimmed the fat off of the top.  If you don’t want to refrigerate it, skim the fat off of the top any way.


Then portion the stock into containers to put into the freezer. 


You may want to leave 8 cups of stock in the refrigerator to use for Weeknight Chicken Soup.  I’ll share that recipe my next blog!


I have to say, it is very comforting and cozy to have a big ol’ pot of stock on the stove, the aroma wafts through the house, and lingers until morning.  This makes it officially the kickoff of the “fall” season for me! 

Yields about 4 quarts 

4              lbs          Chicken carcasses, such as back, wings, neck; or a 6 pound whole chicken
1                              Large onion, quartered, no need to peel
3                              Celery stocks cut each stock into 4 pieces
3                              Carrots cut each carrot into 4 pieces
8 or 10                   Whole black pepper corns
1 handful                Flat leaf parsley
12           sprigs      Fresh thyme
2                              Bay leaves
7            quarts   Cold water 

1.       Put the onion, celery, carrots and chicken in the bottom of the stock pot.
2.       Add the peppercorns.
3.       Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaves into a bundle using kitchen twine; drop the bundle into the stock pot.
4.       Cover the chicken and vegetables with cold water; the water should cover the chicken by about three inches or so.
5.       Put the pot on the stove at medium high; until it comes to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to between medium low and low, (depending on your stove), and keep at a simmer for 4 hours.
6.       You may need to skim any impurities that come to the top, but whatever you do, do not stir!
7.       When the stock is done simmering, gently remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot, and discard them. 
8.       Using either a very fine mesh strainer, or a strainer lined with paper towels, strain the stock into one or two vessels.  Allow to cool slightly so that any fat will rise to the top.  Skim that fat off the top.  You can allow the stock to cool in the refrigerator overnight, and it will be even easier to remove the fat. 
9.       Put the stock into storage containers and refrigerate what you will use in the next couple of days, or put it into the freezer for future use.


  1. Oh Kari this is a great post! We should all use our resources like this. I love to have the time to make homemade everything :) Very nice step by step instructions and photos! Thanks

  2. Making stock from the of love!

  3. I hear you about the heat. I live here in NYC and even though it is fall the weather is still warm and soup is not happening right now. I love how much stock you made with all of that. I am going to have to try it.