Caldo de Pollo

Chicken Stock

Preparation info

  • Makes About

    2.5 litres

    • Difficulty


Appears in


By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

It’s hard to get an old broiler-fryer these days, but an old chook that has seen a few days around the yard adds a great amount of flavour to a stock. Poulterers at city markets and old-fashioned butchers carry them, often frozen. In my mind, they give the stock the oomph — the essence of the chicken.


  • 1.6 kg (3 lb 8 oz) whole chicken
  • 7.5 cm (3 inch) piece jamón bone (see Note)
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 small handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns


Rinse the chicken, including the cavity, under cold running water to remove any blood or impurities. Put all the ingredients in a large stockpot or very large saucepan with 1 tablespoon salt and cover with 4 litres (140 fl oz/16 cups) cold water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer.

Continue simmering for 2 hours, skimming the surface for foam every 30 minutes. Strain. The stock is at its best when used immediately. However, it will keep in the refrigerator for another 2 days — cool slightly before covering and refrigerating. Once chilled the stock can be frozen in 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) containers for up to 2 months, but note that the potency/flavour will diminish the longer it is stored.