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How to Make Chicken Stock

This satisfying cooking project is one that you can have going all day in the background, and results in a flavorful and good-for-you homemade chicken stock.

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mason jars filled with homemade chicken stock made with chicken parts, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herbs and spices
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Chicken Stock For The Soul

We know, that’s not the title of the book! But we think that many soul-satisfying recipes start with a luxuriously golden chicken stock, with bits of healthy fat running through it. Pouring a batch of homemade chicken stock into containers for future use feels like the most rewarding type of savings plan, because it means there will be tons of enriched soups ahead. Next time you have an afternoon to tend to a pot of simmering chicken stock, we encourage you to give this recipe a try. You’ll be so glad you did on your next soup night!

chicken parts, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herbs and spices in prep bowls to make homemade chicken stock

To Salt Or Not To Salt, Our Best Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

Part of building our pantry includes supplementing the store-bought chicken broth we always have on-hand with homemade chicken stock. Making chicken stock from scratch is not only more nutrient-dense and flavorful, it’s also healthier because we can control the amount of sodium. Salt is an optional ingredient in our best chicken stock recipe, because it allows the chicken stock to serve as a neutral base for whatever recipe we use it in. We count these as the main benefits of making homemade chicken stock. Making homemade chicken stock can also be a great way to use vegetable scraps. We keep a container in the freezer to store carrot, celery, and onion ends until we need them for the next batch of chicken stock.

chicken parts, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herbs and spices in a large pot to make homemade chicken stock

Is Chicken Stock The Same As Chicken Broth?

While recipes often call for chicken stock or chicken broth, and they can be used interchangeably, chicken stock is made with bones and chicken broth is made with meat. This means that chicken stock contains gelatin, the component that turns chicken stock into liquid gold with a viscous texture. The gelatin from chicken bones is also the reason why chicken stock becomes jelly-like when it’s stored in the fridge. Chicken stock and chicken broth are not the same, but you can use chicken stock instead of chicken broth in the same way for recipes, you’ll just get a lot more flavor (and nutrients and protein!) from chicken stock. What are the 4 main components of a chicken stock? To get the most nutritious, flavor-packed chicken stock, you’ll need water, chicken bones, aromatics (onion, carrot, celery, and garlic) and herbs (bay leaf and parsley). And, perhaps the most important, fifth ingredient–TIME! The longer your chicken stock simmers, the more nutrients you’ll squeeze out of the chicken bones and vegetables. If you’re short on this ingredient, yet still want to reap the benefits of homemade chicken stock, you can follow our Instant Pot Chicken Stock recipe.

mason jars full of homemade chicken stock made with chicken parts, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herbs and spices
mason jars full of homemade chicken stock made with chicken parts, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herbs and spices

How To Make Flavorful Chicken Stock

  1. Get out your big stock pot and add the chicken parts (or whole chicken carcass), onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, parsley, peppercorns, and salt, if using. Fill the pot with cold water until the carcass is almost completely covered. You can do the same for turkey stock as well!

  2. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low.

  3. Simmer, undisturbed for 6 hours. Remove pot from heat and let cool completely.

  4. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Using tongs, remove and discard the chicken parts and vegetables. Strain the stock into the bowl.

  5. Keep your chicken stock in airtight storage containers for up to one week in the fridge or in the freezer for up to three months.

mason jars full of homemade chicken stock made with chicken parts, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herbs and spices

Tools You’ll Need

Recipes With Chicken Stock To Make Great Meals

Once you have a supply of homemade chicken stock lined up and ready to roll, you’ll find yourself using it to enhance the flavor of all your home cooking. Here’s some recipes that will shine with the addition of that rich, golden stock you’ve made:

Stock Up And Show Us Your Work

Did you stock your freezer full of healthy and delicious homemade chicken stock? Future you is going to be so grateful! Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy cooking!

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How to Make Chicken Stock

  • Serves: 12
  • Yields: 8-12 cups
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  6 hrs

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken parts, such as bone-in chicken wings or leftover chicken carcass (about 2-3 total)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved
  • 2 medium carrots, halved
  • 2 large celery ribs, cut into thirds
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 stems fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (optional)

Method

  1. To a large stock pot, add the chicken parts, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, parsley, peppercorns, and salt, if using. Fill the pot with cold water until the carcass is almost completely covered. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, undisturbed for 6 hours. Remove pot from heat and let cool completely.

  2. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Using tongs, remove and discard the chicken parts and vegetables. Strain the stock into the bowl.

  3. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week or store in the freezer* for up to 3 months.

*Note: To freeze, divide the stock between several smaller, preferably 1-cup, freezer-safe containers.

To make in slow-cooker:

  1. Turn the crockpot on and set to high heat. Add all ingredients. Bring 8-12 cups of water to a boil over high heat. If your crock pot can only hold 6-8 cups of boiling water, then that’s fine too. Pour the boiling water over the ingredients. Switch to low heat and cook for 12 or up to 24 hours.

  2. Using tongs, discard the chicken parts and vegetables from the stock. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Pour the stock through the sieve and into the bowl.

  3. To freeze, divide the stock between several (preferably 1-cup) freezer-safe containers. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

    *Makes 8-12 cups total depending on the size of your pot and how much water you add.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories30
  • Protein6 g
  • Carbohydrates0 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium450 mg
  • Total Sugars0 g

How to Make Chicken Stock

Questions & Reviews

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  • Eleanor

    With this recipe, based on the Insta reel, it does appear that the skins from the chicken carcasses were included. I froze mine with the skins and wasn’t sure if they should go in the stock pot and just wanted to confirm if that was ok? Do I need to thaw my carcasses or can I put them in frozen? I’ll be using a slow cooker/crockpot for this. Thank you!

    You can use frozen it just might take a bit longer. Hope you enjoy!

  • Jenn

    I've always been intimidated to try this but made a whole chicken and saw this recipe so just made the stock. Turned out good and freezing it for later, thanks for the push I needed!

    Thanks Jenn, happy you gave it a try and were happy with how it turned out! Nice work!