How to make the best homemade chicken stock
Dining on a meal made with homemade chicken stock is satisfying. The hearty, rich chicken flavours are subtle yet tasty.
Then there is the multitude of health benefits that go with stock, sometimes called broth, made from bones.
Making this homemade chicken stock recipe is also a great way to get even more from your roast chicken leftovers while using up excess vegetables.
Once you have a handy supply of chicken stock in your fridge or freezer, you’ll be looking for even more recipes!
I love boiling rice in stock for extra goodness and flavour.
For best results, if possible use a large, deep stockpot for this recipe.
If you do not have one, use a large (at least 6-quart) Dutch oven, or a similar-sized double-handed pot.
Ideally, you need as much chicken as possible submerged in water.
TIP: if you’re really stuck, break the chicken carcass into smaller pieces and use your crockpot.
When making stock, you are essentially boiling out the nutrients and collagen from the bones, fat, muscle and tendons.
I always add the chicken skin as it has the most collagen and is what makes the stock turn jelly-like once it has cooled down.
Why I like this recipe
- This recipe is flexible and by that I mean, if you only have 1 onion and 2 carrots in your kitchen, your stock will still turn out great!
What’s really important is that you have enough chicken carcass.
- Once everything is in the pot and you’ve got the simmering temperature just right, it’s easy to set the timer and leave the kitchen.
- This is the best way to use up vegetables that are turning soft.
If your onions or garlic bulbs have sprouted, include the green shoots too.
For peace of mind, I’ve been known to transfer everything over to my slow cooker mid-way through cooking, if I needed to pop out.
The recipe: Homemade Chicken Stock
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3½ – 4 hours
Yields: 10 cups of chicken stock
- Large stockpot
- Long wooden stirring spoon
- 8″ chef’s knife
- Chopping board
- Vegetable peeler
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cup
- Oven mitts
- Colander or a professional strainer
- Large bowl (that holds at least 10 cups of liquid)
- Freezer-safe containers, jars, or resealable bags
- Labels or permanent marker
~ large sieve
- 1 5-6 pound roasted leftover chicken carcass, including skin and giblets
- 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 large celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 medium yellow or brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4-5 large cloves garlic, peeled.
- 1 T. dried oregano
- 1 T. dried parsley
- 1 T. dried thyme
- 1 T. whole black peppercorns (or ½ t. ground pepper)
- 1 t. coarse sea salt
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 12 c. water
- Place chicken carcass, skin and giblets into a large stockpot, then arrange the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic around the chicken.
Sprinkle oregano, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, salt, and bay leaves on top.
- Add water and bring to a rapid boil over HIGH heat, then reduce the heat to MEDIUM-LOW.
Simmer with a lid on the pot for 3 1/2 – 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- When the meat falls from the bone and the bones have separated, remove from heat. Place colander over a large bowl. Remove all large pieces with tongs and place in colander.
Carefully pour the remaining contents into the colander to separate the solids from the liquid.
Reserve the liquid and either discard the chicken meat or freeze it for soups later.
Discard the remaining vegetable solids. (Do not compost because of the animal fats).
- Cover the stock and allow to cool before keeping it in the fridge to solidify.
Skim off any solid fats that are on the surface before transferring broth to airtight, freezer-safe containers.
Date and freeze stock for long-term storage or store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To reduce excess splashing, I remove all larger pieces of vegetable and chicken with tongs first.
Then, I strain the liquid.
If you are using a colander and too many small pieces pass through, re-strain the liquid through a large-sized sieve.
Because a professional strainer has smaller holes, you won’t need to do this.
Want to make a vegetarian stock as well?
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If you plan on making broth more than once, here’s what I use and like.
This 5 quart stainless steel pot is the ideal size for boiling 12 cups of water including a whole chicken carcass.
I’ve had bigger stockpots before and they become too heavy to safely pour liquids out.
This stockpot is a little more pricey, but the handles are low profile and you get the quality guarantee.
If you are looking at stockpots, make sure to consider the two-handled pots as one pot is too hard on the wrists to pour that much weight.
Spectacular soup bowl ideas
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I am a big fan of Etsy as they support small businesses and have interesting products.
These handmade cotton soup bowl holders are a fantastic, practical design for carrying ice cream too!
Designed for use in the microwave they make handling a hot bowl that much easier.
They’re also perfect and a creative way for small hands to help carry bowls to the table.
Homemade Chicken Stock
- 6 Quart stockpot
- 8" Chef's knife
- Vegetable peeler
- Chopping board
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon
- Oven mitts
- 6 pounds chicken bones with meat on
- 3 large carrots
- 3 large celery sticks
- 2 medium brown onions
- 5 large garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns whole
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 bay leaves whole
- 12 cups water
- 1 inch fresh ginger root
- Place chicken carcass, skin on to a large stockpot, then add the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic around the chicken. Sprinkle oregano, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, salt, and bay leaves on top.
- Add water and bring to a rapid boil over HIGH heat, then immediately reduce heat to MEDIUM-LOW. Simmer with a lid on for 3½ - 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- When the meat falls from the bone and the bones have separated, remove from heat. Carefully strain the contents of the pot to separate the liquid from the solids. Reserve the liquid and either discard the chicken or freeze for soups later. Discard the remaining vegetable solids
- Allow broth to cool in the fridge. Skim off any solid fats that are on the surface before transferring to airtight, freezer-safe containers. Freeze for longer-term storage or store in the refrigerator for several days before using.