You Should Never Add This Chicken Part To Your Stock

Ask chefs about their lists of essential ingredients to have in the kitchens at all times and you're sure to get a variety of answers, but there are a few that you're likely to hear a few times. According to Good Housekeeping, chefs always have canned tomatoes, salt, and canned fish on hand, among others. It's the items that are used time and time again that they want to have easy access to, and this goes for home cooks as well. Considering this, one ingredient that always seems to be involved in recipes is good chicken stock. Think about it, not only is it necessary for soups and stews, it is involved in risottos, sauces, gravies, stir frys, pastas, curries, pot pies, casseroles, and so on. And let's not forget the fact that it was mom's go-to when you were sick as a child. 

Clearly, there are plenty of reasons to have a batch of chicken stock around at all times. Boxed and canned works, but to really kick up your cooking, nothing beats homemade. It's easier to make than you think. At its most basic, all you need is a chicken and some water, although most recipes call for flavoring agents like vegetables and fresh herbs. Slowly cooked together, all these elements equal liquid gold. But take caution: there is one part of the chicken you definitely don't want to include.

Leave out the liver

There is a slew of chicken stock recipes that call for a chicken carcass or bare chicken bones as the base. In these cases, all you'll need to do is toss all of the ingredients together in a stock pot and follow the cooking directions. You'll also find recipes that call for a whole chicken or chickens. These have you boil the meat, the bones, the skin, pretty much everything together along with whatever other ingredients are included. It's really a matter of preference, but if you opt for the whole chicken, you may find yourself with one that includes the giblets. The Spruce Eats suggests that the chicken giblets are often found stuffed inside the cavity of the chicken and usually include the neck, heart, gizzard, and liver. Most of these are excellent in adding additional flavor to your stock, except for the liver, which can imbed a bitter flavor, per The Spruce Eats.

But don't toss those livers, they're too valuable. Per WebMD, chicken livers contain a ton of health benefits, including being an excellent source of protein and vitamins. Turn them into a creamy chicken liver pate and serve with toasted bread, or add a bowl to your next charcuterie board. Chicken stock freezes beautifully so make a huge batch, freeze in containers and have fresh, homemade stock on hand for recipes and sick days alike.