Homemade Chicken Stock
If the idea of making your own homemade chicken stock sounds too difficult or fancy, I'm here to try and convince you otherwise. It is really one of the most basic things to do in the kitchen and even the newest cook will be able to pull this off with ease.
The difference between homemade chicken stock and the stuff you buy in cans or tetra packs is really out of this world. There is no comparison. And since it is so easy to make, and freezes very well, I really think you should make some.
Let me break down the steps so you'll see how easy it is:
- Throw all the ingredients into a big pot and add some water
- Turn up the heat and keep it at a gentle simmer for 4 hours
- Remove from heat and strain the stock twice
That's it! Theres only 3 simple steps. Easy. 🙂
You can make chicken stock with either raw chicken bones or, like I do, with the bones that are leftover after you roast a chicken. Both will taste fantastic.
Freezing portions of the chicken stock in plastic freezer bags works great.
If you make this homemade chicken stock, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create.
Homemade Chicken Stock
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- 1 lb chicken bones, if you're using bones from a whole roast chicken, break them into smaller pieces so that they fit easily in the pot
- 2 medium onions, quartered (you can leave the skin on)
- 2 medium celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 head garlic, cut in half (no need to peel the cloves)
- ½ teaspoon peppercorns
- Optional: a rosemary branch, a few sage leaves, a few sprigs of thyme
- Put all ingredients in a large pot and cover with water till the bones are 2-3 inches under water.1 lb chicken bones, 2 medium onions, 2 medium celery stalks, 2 medium carrots, 1 head garlic, ½ teaspoon peppercorns, Optional: a rosemary branch, a few sage leaves, a few sprigs of thyme
- Bring to a simmer then reduce heat so that it stays at a very gently simmer. You don't want it to boil as it will make the stock look dirty. It won't affect the taste but it won't look as nice and clear. Continue to simmer gently, uncovered, for about 4 hours.
- Remove from heat and strain through a colander into a large bowl. Place a fine-mesh sieve over another bowl and strain the stock once more to remove any small particles. Season to taste with sea salt.
- Store in covered containers in your fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.
What is everyone doing with the leftover chicken?
I followed this recipe as well as the beef bone broth and noted that as the only difference between the two is time, I might as well make chicken bone broth. I added everything bar the meat (grizzle, skin and bones). I wanted a low faff stock/broth so replaced fresh veg with leftover veg cooking water and a pouch of watery vegetable stock, just for no waste. Even with my mix of meat bones (mostly chicken but also a turkey leg and a whole capon (chicken flavour but turkey size) from Christmas), most were merely fried over roasting and most came from a curry haha, I was surprised how much pure chicken flavour came from my pot! (once reduced further). I loved that I could cook the broth on the back hob without stirring (so it was time inexpensive) and I could re-heat it over a couple of days to get the max. 24 hours simmer time. Only disadvantage is straining got a little messy when working with a big batch, as lining up the pouring spout on the pot for a clean pour, was hard. I read afterwards, some add vinegar/lemon juice to break down the bones and get the bone marrow which I’ll try next time for more flavour/easier straining). Anyway, lastly I chilled my broth so it would set/gel and I could scoop the fat off easier before freezing the broth in 100ml (1/2 cup = 120ml) portions for quicker defrosting. Update: I love the depth it adds to a veggie broth (I’ve used in minestrone soup, swapping Italian seasoning for Middle Eastern Za’atar herb/sesame seed blend and in black eyed bean broth – both with no meat pieces).
*It had amazing flavour once reduced and without extra seasoning to boot (just because I’d forget it’s been salted lol). Fascinating stuff
Can you make stock in an Insta Pot or does that cook at too high a temperature? What about a slow cooker?
I’m not sure about an instant pot, but a slow cooker works wonderfully for making stock! Here’s how I do it with turkey, the same method works with chicken bones: https://www.theendlessmeal.com/crock-pot-turkey-stock/
I’m excited to try this recipe! I’m new to cooking and have a question. What do I do with the vegetables in the broth? Would I throw it out, or would I use it to say, make chicken noodle soup? Thank you in advance!
I put them in the compost bin. They’re really mushy and pretty flavorless after. 🙂
Im going to sound really stupid but I’m a total newbie to cooking and I’m really trying to learn so please dont make fun. My question is does the 2 stalks of celery mean two sticks or two whole heads of celery?
Not a stupid question at all! It’s 2 sticks of celery. 🙂
Would a store bought rotisserie chicken work the same?
It sure would! Any chicken bones will do the trick. Last night my mom told me that she saves all her chicken bones (from chicken thighs and drumsticks that she’s eaten) and stores them in her freezer. When she wants stock, she just uses those. I thought it was a great idea!
That’s not stupid at all!! Just two ‘pieces’ from the celery you bought at the store :). I think it’s GREAT that you are willing to try!!! I hope it works out and you have an amazing stock!!
Thanks for the no boil tip… Now I too can make clear broth…
No prob at all! It works every time. 🙂
What about using organic chicken stock instead of water? Wouldn’t that make it more chicken-y?
You could, but I think it would be a waste of the chicken stock. Homemade is very chicken-y!
I make stock often. I felt like changing it up a bit and trying a new recipe. This is my new go to. Very good.
I make home made vegetable soup every fortnight. I used to use the store packaged chicken stock and when I make my last batch I used the above recipe for the first time.
OMG what a difference. The most flavorsome vegetable soup I have had in a long time! Thanks for the recipe! I will never go back to the store packaged stock again!!
You’re so welcome! I still remember the first time I used homemade broth instead of store-bought and how I couldn’t believe what a difference it made. Once you go homemade there’s no turning back!
So easy!! Thank you. Just wondered if you had any idea how long it would last in the fridge?
The FDA recommends storing chicken broth in your fridge no longer than 3-4 days. I always freeze the extra so I have some on hand if I need it. Just make sure to freeze it in quantities that you’ll use. I generally have a few ¼ cup servings and at least one 4 cup serving in case I want to make soup. Freezer ziplock bags work great!
Weird, I definitely found that by the end of the simmering process, I barely had 2 cups of broth. Is there a way to prevent it from simmering off? Do you just keep adding water throughout the process? Am I missing something? :S
How much liquid you have left will depend on how much water you started with initially, what heat it was simmering at (if it was boiling – which you don’t want – then you’ll have much less), and how long you let it simmer for. If you have less liquid then it is likely that it is simply more concentrated, i.e.: more flavourful.
I didn’t give an exact amount of liquid because it is really more important that the water covers the bones by a few inches, you wouldn’t want it less. If your pot is on the small side that might also be why you have less broth in the end.
It will still be great for soup though and you can definitely add some water to get the amount you were hoping for.
I am on a low carb diet and counting grams of macronutrients until I get familiar with how much I need of things. Can you give a shot at estimating the carb, fat and protein content of a good chicken stock?
I really wish I could but I haven’t the faintest idea.
Not sure how accurate this is but perhaps this will help you:
Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!
I’ve started just throwing the chicken back in a pot after I butcher it for the week.. fill with cold water, bring to a BARE almost-boil and skim a lot.. then simmer for what seems like forever – at least 8 hours. I’m AMAZED at how flavorful it is! And ridiculously easy. Thank you for this awesome recipe! I love when bloggers pay attention to solid basics/classical recipes 🙂
You are so welcome! It’s funny how some of the basics often seem (or we think they are) difficult when in fact they are some of the easiest. 🙂