Homemade Chicken Stock
This homemade chicken stock recipe simmers for a long time to produce a thick and silky stock that will bring lots of flavor to your dishes! After you taste this, you will never buy the store stuff again.
Chicken stock from scratch is easier than you think!
I’ve been making a lot of roasted chicken lately, so I decided it was time for a post showing how I make homemade chicken stock!
You should see this recipe more as a guide than a recipe per se. Don’t obsess about the quantities or exact ingredients, as chicken stock is very forgiving and can be made with whatever you have in your fridge.
The results are guaranteed to be better than what you buy at the store. Plus, if you’re a conscious carnivore like me, it will make you feel better about the meat you’re eating.
Finally, people call homemade chicken stock “liquid gold” for a reason. It will elevate whatever recipe you use it in!
In this post, you will learn:
- The difference between chicken stock and chicken broth.
- What ingredients are needed for this recipe.
- How to make homemade chicken stock in the stove, Instant Pot and slow cooker.
- How to store chicken stock and how to freeze it.
- What kinds of recipes you can use the homemade stock in.
Plus a printable complete recipe at the end.
Chicken Broth VS Chicken Stock
Chicken stock is made just from the chicken bones, without any meat (other than the leftover meat that is stuck to the carcass), and requires a long cooking time to become flavorful and thick.
It is also quite gelatinous, due to the collagen that is released from the bones while it cooks.
Chicken broth, on the other hand, is milder and thinner. It is made by cooking raw chicken – like a whole chicken or chicken breast – and saving the liquid that remains. It cooks for a shorter period of time and doesn’t gel when it cools.
Can chicken stock be used in place of chicken broth?
Usually, yes. There is a difference in texture, with the stock being thicker and richer, but you can adjust by adding more water to the recipe.
What Ingredients go into chicken stock?
This homemade chicken stock recipe can be easily adapted to what you have in your fridge and pantry.
Here are the ingredients I usually use to make mine:
CHICKEN CARCASS – You know that roasted chicken you made the other day? Don’t throw the carcass away! That is perfect for chicken stock. If you don’t have a chicken carcass, save chicken bones and uncooked parts, such as wing tips. Chicken feet can also be added and contain lots of collagen.
VEGETABLES – Whatever you have in your fridge. It’s a great excuse to use those wilted veggies, like celery and carrots, that have been looking a bit sad!
ONION AND GARLIC – If you know me, you know that almost all my savory recipes include these aromatics. They add lots of flavor to homemade chicken stock!
FRESH HERBS – Parsley, green onions, thyme, rosemary… Whatever you have on hand!
DRIED BAY LEAVES – I always have dried bay leaves in my spice drawer. I love the slightly sweet, tea-like note that it brings to my recipes! It is subtle, but it enhances the other flavors.
SALT – Salt is completely optional here. You can omit and leave the seasoning to when you add the stock to a recipe.
PEPPERCORNS – Using whole peppercorns, without cracking them, gives the stock flavor but doesn’t over-spice it. However, if all you have is ground pepper, a pinch of that will work as well.
How to make homemade chicken stock recipe
Making chicken stock is very straightforward and customizable! Use whatever vegetables and herbs you have on hand and simmer until the stock is rich and amber colored.
As you can see in my photos, chicken stock is thicker and darker than chicken broth. If you want a lighter colored stock, you can add a layer of cheesecloth to the sieve before straining it.
Here’s how I make this homemade chicken stock recipe. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in a stockpot
- Add the chicken carcass, vegetables, herbs, bay leaves and peppercorns to a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Cover with 2 quarts of water. (Photo 1)
Step 2: Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours
- Simmer, partially covered, until the stock is an amber gold color and very flavorful.
Step 3: Strain
- Pour the chicken stock with all the solid ingredients through a strainer, into a bowl. Discard the solids. (Photo 2)
- Season the stock with salt if you want.
|Olivia’s Tip: No chicken carcass? You can save bones from chicken thighs, wings and drumsticks in the freezer until you have enough to fill a pot. When you have about 3-4 pounds, it’s time to make stock!|
Making chicken stock in the Instant Pot
- Combine the chicken carcass and all the other ingredients in your Instant Pot. The Instant Pot maximum capacity needs to be at least 6 quarts for this recipe.
- Pour the water up to the “max fill” line.
- Cover, lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to naturally release. Skim the top layer of fat off while stock is still hot. Let the stock cool slightly before straining.
- Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. Add salt, if using.
Note: To get rid of more fat, once the stock cools, you can refrigerate it until it solidifies. Then you’ll be able to remove the solid fat cap that will rise to the top.
Making chicken stock in the slow cooker
- Combine all the ingredients in your (6qt or more) slow cooker.
- Pour the water.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.
- Skim off the fat that has risen to the top. Allow the stock to cool slightly before straining.
- Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. Add salt, if using.
How to store chicken stock
Store your chicken stock in a covered airtight container (I use mason jars) in the fridge for to 4 days. If you’re into pressure canning, you could do that and store the stock in your pantry for up to 1 year.
For best results, refrigerate your stock within two hours of cooking.
Freezing homemade chicken stock
Properly stored in airtight containers, homemade chicken stock will keep in the freezer for up too 6 months. It will remain safe beyond that time, but it might lose flavor.
Thaw it in the fridge before using. Once thawed, it can stay in the fridge for an additional 3 to 4 days.
Uses for chicken stock
You can use your homemade chicken stock to make soups, sauces, stews, risotto and so much more!
Here are a few of my recipes that ask for chicken stock or broth. You can use chicken stock in all of them.
- Zuppa Toscana
- Tom Kha Soup (Thai Chicken Coconut Soup)
- Cream of Spinach Soup
- Pasta e Fagioli Soup
- Leftover Turkey Gumbo
- Slow Cooker Chicken Mango Curry
- Brazilian Chicken Pot Pie
- Classic Vichyssoise Soup
- Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)
- Gorgonzola Risotto
- Porcini Mushroom Risotto
- Coxinhas (Brazilian Chicken Croquettes)
Did you make this recipe? I love hearing from you! Please comment and leave a 5-star rating below. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #oliviascuisine.
- 1 or 2 chicken carcasses
- 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
- 1 large onion, halved
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 2 quarts water
- Pinch salt (optional)
- In a large stockpot or Dutch Oven, combine the carcass, vegetables, herbs and peppercorns.
- Pour the water and bring to a boil, over medium-high heat. Once boiling, lower the heat to low, cover and simmer, occasionally skimming the fat that rises to the top, for 1.5 to 4 hours or until the stock is flavorful and rich. Make sure to add hot water as needed to keep the solids submerged.
- Let the stock cool slightly. Then, set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl and strain the stock, discarding the solids.
- Season with salt, if using.
- Let the stock cool completely before transferring to airtight containers (like mason jars) and chilling in the fridge. Once it's chilled, it will solidify, making it easier to remove the fat that will rise to the top.
- Keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
Using homemade chicken stock in recipes:
The chicken stock might solidify after chilled, depending on how much collagen was released by the bones in the stock. If that's the case, you'll want to reheat it to bring it back to a liquid state before using it in recipes.
No leftover chicken carcass?
You can save chicken giblets and bones from chicken thighs, wings and drumsticks in the freezer and make the stock once you have enough to fill a pot (about 3-4 pounds). Adding some chicken feet is also recommended, as it contains lots of collagen and will contribute to the stock's richness.
Making it in the Instant Pot and in the Slow Cooker:
Read the post for instructions.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g
Nutritional values are approximate, please use your own calculations if you require a special diet.