Basic Chicken Stock (Thai)

My husband and I were in Bangkok last week (and it was AWESOME).

Big fans of Thai food, we were both browsing (him, more so than me, actually) through the various Thai cook books in the bookstores and he finally bought the pretty good “Popular Thai Cuisine“. At the airport, I happened to browse “Everyday Thai Cooking” and came across the page which describes how to get really solid chicken stock (which forms the basis for many Thai dishes). To get clear stock, the author emphasised on the need to boil the chicken bones and then rinse them, before putting them back to simmer with the rest of the stock ingredients.

Below is the recipe for the chicken stock which I’ve tried to reproduce from memory and I dare say, it’s pretty awesome. I’ve used it to cook tom yum kai (hot and sour chicken soup) and a chicken & coriander soup and they were gorgeous! :)

Produces 4.5 cups of stock

Prep 15 mins

Cooks 2 hrs 10 mins


  • 1.5 kilos raw chicken bones (trimmed of fat, with some meat left)
  • 1.75 litres of water
  • 3 slices galangal ginger
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 lemongrass stems (use the bottom 15cm of the grass), outer leaves removed, smashed with back of knife
  • 100g cilantro (stems + leaves)
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil (around 1.5 litres – enough water to cover the chicken bones).
  2. Add the chicken bones & boil, uncovered, for 3 minutes.
  3. Off the flame, pour away the water and rinse the chicken bones (to get rid of any scum).
  4. Return the bones to a fresh pot with the 1.75 litres of water, galangal ginger, kaffir lime leaves, garlic & lemongrass.
  5. Bring to boil, covered, and then reduce the flame to medium low. Add the cilantro.
  6. Simmer uncovered for 2 hours.
  7. Skim fat and the chicken stock is ready for use.

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