How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

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Homemade chicken stock is one of the easiest recipes and it makes the best ever Chicken & Wild Rice Soup!

I love making stock after a roast chicken or turkey with the leftover bones.

I use it as a base for my favorite soups (of course) but also in any recipe that calls for chicken broth!

Chicken stock is so easy to make and it makes any dish you are creating with it exponentially better.

Chicken stock in a dish for How to make chicken stock

What’s the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock?

That’s the age-old question! Is there a difference between chicken broth and chicken stock?

Yes, there is a difference however they can be used interchangeably in most recipes.

Chicken Stock vs. Broth

The difference is that Chicken broth is generally made from more of the meaty parts of the bird, while chicken stock is made from simmering the bones for a long period of time, which results in more depth of flavor.

Chicken stock gains it’s flavor and nutrition from a slow-simmering of the bones (sometimes up to 24 hours). This can easily be done on the stove top or in your slow cooker!

Tips to Make Your Chicken Stock Flavorful

  • If you’re short on bones, check your local grocery. They often sell inexpensive packs of turkey necks which are perfect for flavor.
  • Add leafy fresh greens such as celery tops, fresh parsley or even carrot tops.
  • If using raw bones (such as the back or neck), roast them with some onions first at 400°F.
  • If you have leftover gravy, stock, meaty parts that nobody is eating (such as the neck) or drippings, add them to your pot.
  • Leave the skins on your onions to add great color.

There’s a reason chicken stock is used in so many soups and dishes. The flavor that you get from it is seriously amazing.

A good chicken stock should be aromatic, have a mild savory flavor, and a body that may even coagulate slightly when chilled.

You don’t want your chicken or turkey stock to overpower the dish you are creating with it, you want it to be mild enough that it just adds a great component to any sauce, soup, or dish you are making.

Ingredients for How to make chicken stock

What is in Chicken Stock?

Chicken stock is usually compiled of 4 important components: chicken, water, aromatic vegetables (garlic, onions, celery, carrots), and herbs (thyme, rosemary, peppercorns, bay leaves).

It is entirely up to you what ingredients you decide to add to your stock; however, you will want to make sure you have included these components.

You can tweak any chicken stock recipe to fit your needs and the flavor profile you are hoping to create.

All you have to do is add the bones and ingredients to a stock pot with some water, bring it all to a boil, and then simmer it.

If your bones are raw, you’ll want to roast them in the oven to give them a little bit of color.

Simply drizzle with olive oil, add a quartered onion and roast at 400°F for about 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Chicken, veggies and herbs in a pan for How to Make Chicken Stock

How long can you keep chicken broth?

I like to cook my stock in a large batch and freeze it for easy soup making!

Chicken stock lasts in the fridge for up to 4-5 days after it is cooked.

If you plan to use it after that, it freezes easily for future use. I divide it into small 1 cup portions and freeze it for 2-3 months.

I love using this broth to make this Turkey Noodle Soup or this Chicken Barley Soup. They are so comforting and perfect for winter time!

Chicken stock in a dish for How to make chicken stock
4.8 from 10 votes
Review Recipe

Homemade Chicken Stock

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 CUPS BROTH
Author Holly Nilsson
This easy homemade chicken stock is the perfect base for any soup and can be added to your favorite recipes. Store in the fridge for 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 whole chicken or turkey carcasses
  • 1 onion halved
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 sprigs rosemary optional
  • 2 sprigs thyme optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8-10 cups water

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Instructions

  • Cut the onion, the carrots and the celery into quarters (include the tops of the carrots and celery if you have them)
  • Place carcass in a large pot and add vegetables, fresh herbs, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt. Cover with water.
  • Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer partially covered for 3-4 hours skimming as needed.
  • Strain broth through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Discard bones and vegetables.
  • Refrigerate 4 days or freeze 2-3 months.

Recipe Notes

You can add extra meaty pieces such as wings or legs. I often add leftover drippings or even leftover gravy to my stock. Roasting the bones and onions with a little bit of olive oil first will add extra flavor. I cook mine at 400° F for about 25 minutes. Nutritional value is an estimate only. The value will vary based on your ingredients.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 20, Carbohydrates: 4g, Sodium: 622mg, Potassium: 148mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 3895IU, Vitamin C: 2.8mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 0.3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword bone broth, chicken bone broth, chicken broth, chicken stock
Course Soup
Cuisine American

What are the health benefits of chicken broth?

Is chicken broth good for you? There are not a lot of studies published with reliable medicinal information, however, bone broth is loaded with minerals and collagen.

According to NY Times, it may provide benefits for inflammatory diseases, digestive problems and even dopamine levels.

That being said, you may notice that as your stock cools, it often gets thicker and almost jelly like.

I’m sure we have all heard that chicken stock is great for the common cold.

When you’re sick, you need the collagen and the gelatin that is found in the bones.  Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, says that the high concentration of minerals in stock can boost your immune system as well!

Simmering them can bring these components out of the bones and into your stock (to get the most out of the bones you are using, add a tablespoon of something acidic such as vinegar or lemon while they simmer).

Next time you are feeling under the weather, try whipping up some of this chicken stock!

About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe! This is a really good one to start with, because going easy on the salt and strong flavors is a must, since the taste can change dramatically towards the end of cooking. The more wiggle room you can give yourself for seasoning to taste, the better. This recipe gives you that gives you all the goodies from the carcass, but gives you that room Plus, once you get started making stocks and broths and see how easy they are, you’ll probably get addicted and may spend years (or decades) tweaking your “personal” recipe to find just the right flavor. it can be a lot of work, but is also a lot of fun.

    Regarding the person who didn’t think this had enough water to cover the ingredients, I would say 1. add more! or 2. Break down the carcass or just use a narrower/deeper pot!

    The only thing I saw missing from this recipe that I would personally add is a couple smashed cloves of garlic, and maybe a splash of soy cause and white vinegar. don’t need much, but all can add a bit more depth to the broth. But again, that’s something you can always add later if you want it.

    But again, great recipe! 4 stars

    1. Thanks for the suggestions Kent! Glad this recipe worked well for you and you are so right! It is such a versatile recipe but the flavors really do develop towards the end.

  2. I used this guide to make my first batch of stock ever (I’m 37 and kinda embarrassed it took me this long. I immediately turned it around and made my chicken rice soup with it. That was easily the best soup I have ever made.

    I will be doing that again to save for future uses.5 stars

  3. You mention using a slow cooker to make the chicken stock. How long would you cook it for using a slow cooker?5 stars

  4. We tried this for the first time tonight, and it smells amazing. We had 3 cups of liquid left after straining the bones and veggies. Do I need to dilute this with water for my soup recipes?

      1. This recipe was so simple. It was perfect for the remains of a Costco roast chicken I shredded for enchiladas. It yielded 3 pints of a golden stock that I popped in the freezer after letting it cool. It will be so handy for the next recipe that calls for stock or broth. Definitely pinning it. Thanks Holly!5 stars

  5. Hi Holly
    If I freeze 1 cup portions of concentrated stock and a recipe asks for 4 cups of stock. Would 2 cups of stock plus 2 cups of water be an approximate equivalent to the store bought.
    Thank you,
    Joy

    1. If it is concentrated you can add extra water to get an equivalent of store bought. The amount would depend on what type of stock it is and what the ratio of water needed is.

    1. Absolutely! You can save all of your peels and vegetable ends (even keep them in the freezer until you have a bunch).

    2. I am planning on making butternut squash soup which would actually use all of it so maybe look for recipes to use at least some of the stock with the veggies.

  6. I use the instant pot to make mine. Throw everything in and pressure for 90 min then let it release on its own, which could take an hour or so. One kinda “strange” thing I do is put the whole onion in, skin and all. It gives it a beautiful caramel color every time, which is prettier to me. :) The skin is hearty enough and doesn’t dissolve but it adds a nice rich brown color.5 stars

  7. im wondering how its possible to simmer 8-10 cups of water for 3-4 hours and yield 8 cups. also im wondering how you managed to cover 1-2 chickens with 8-10 cups of water.

    this recipe’s measurements seems made up to me.

    1. The measurements are correct and work well for me. You can certainly add more water if you’d like or find you need it.

      This recipe calls for chicken carcasses, so just the bones. Mine are usually 3.5lbs chickens so the bones are not that big. Hope that helps!

  8. The amount of “1 tablespoon black peppercorns” was enough to ruin the broth – even for someone who loves pepper. Surprised it wasn’t mentioned in the comments since original posting years ago.

    1. We love this recipe as written, but you can reduce the amount of black peppercorn to your liking!

  9. Hi I’m confused. The ingredients calls for a whole chicken or turkey carcass. If I buy a whole chicken or turkey raw do I roast it first and then put it in the stock pot? Not sure how I would roast just the bones if I am buying a whole raw chicken with meat on the bones???

    1. I can totally see how that would be confusing Mollie. For this recipe you will want to use a whole chicken carcass or a whole turkey carcass. Perfect for the leftovers carcass after a big turkey dinner. If buying a whole intact chicken you can follow this boiled chicken recipe to cook the meat on the bones and make a delicious chicken stock at the same time.

  10. I thought at the top you said stock is 12-24 summer but the chicken stock recipe instructs only 3 hours simmer. Could you clarify please?

    1. Hi Katherine, 3 hours is the minimum amount of time we recommend simmering it for to get that full chicken flavor. But you can simmer this stock in your crockpot for up to 24 hours to really infuse it with all those delicious flavors!

  11. In regards to nutritional value/ benefits, and flavor: is it beneficial to try and break open bones before simmering?

    1. Opinions vary on this one Nic. Some people prefer to break open the bones before simmering, but others prefer to do it at the end to release marrow. Both ways are fine and delicious!

  12. I use a rotisserie chicken, pick it clean, and boil all of  the bones with aromatics.  It’s so easy, and I get multiple meals (for 2) out  of one chicken…4 stars

  13. This is such a great post because I don’t think many people want to/know how/care to make their own stock but it’s so much better! And there is so much merit and hype around ‘bone broth’ these days…guess our grandmothers knew what they were talking about :)