When we first opened one of our customers, Edie, explained to us the importance of using a homemade chicken stock and just how easy it is to prepare. Homemade stock makes a real difference to the depth of flavour in any recipe compared to using a shop bought one.

With a big smile she took us over to the Ginger Pig, our favourite Borough Market butcher, and pointed out the £1 carcasses. We grabbed two and asked them to cut each one into 4 pieces. It's not essential but does make the bones easier to work with. We now prepare the stock in advance and keep it in our freezer; Edie freezes hers in giant ice cube trays so she has portioned ready stock “cubes” for her recipes. Instead of carcasses you can also use the leftovers from a roast chicken or buy raw chicken thighs or wings (with the skin on).


  • 2 raw chicken carcasses (each cut into 4 pieces)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 4L water

Making the Stock:

  1. Chop the celery, onions and carrots and crush the garlic. Put into a deep cocotte or stock pot, add 20ml of olive oil and sauté over a medium heat until translucent (Italians call this a soffritto and it's a basic for many sauces).
  2. Take the soffritto out of the pan and add the chicken carcasses. Brown over a medium heat for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Put the soffritto back into the pot and add the herbs and pepper corns. Stir well and add the water.
  4. Let the mixture simmer for about 2 hours over a low heat (add more water if it reduces by more than two thirds)
  5. Strain and use straight away or freeze.