Soup season is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late.

We seem to all want to eat more at this time of the year: big hearty comfort meals of braised meats, casseroles of wild game, curries to feed the soul, and rich brothy soups to keep us healthy. A lot of these meals require a good stock, and the most common and versatile stock is chicken stock.

Time to intimidate your mum and make your own stock. It freezes well and will be the motivating ingredient for so many other dishes just from one batch. Plus, just 15 minutes of prep time.

Your local market poultry supplier will basically throw chicken bones at you in exchange for a gold coin donation. Or, if you’re looking for something more sustainable, organic chicken carcasses can be ordered from most specialty meat stores or from your local organic shop. The rest of the ingredients will only cost you $3-4, depending on what you already have in the pantry.

Ingredients for stock:

  • 6-8 organic chicken carcasses, or 1 whole chicken
  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of whole black pepper corns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 1 head of garlic
  • salt
  • parsley stalks
  • 3 litres of water


  1. Place chicken in a pot with the water. Bring to boil.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients — yes, all of them — to the pot and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 hours.
  3. While it cooks, skim the surface occasionally — three or four times over the entire duration — with a fine sieve to remove excess fat and impurities from the meat. To intensify flavour, extend the cooking time for another hour.
  4. After cooking, strain the liquid through a large fine sieve. To ensure maximum flavour is extracted, try to press down and release all the liquids from the remaining ingredients in the bottom of the pot.

Stock can either be used immediately, or frozen for later use. Fresh and comforting for cook and consumer. Flightless birds are here for our winter boredom.