Learn how to make a homemade chicken stock recipe with step-by-step instructions and just a handful of ingredients.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Making homemade chicken stock is actually quite easy! All you need is a chicken, some basic vegetables, spices, and a couple of hours of your time. Homemade stock can be used to make soups and other delicious dishes!

The key to making nourishing golden chicken stock is letting it simmer away for a few hours over very low heat. That’s how you get every last speck of flavor from the chicken. It’s guaranteed to be better than anything you buy at the store.

how to make homemade chicken stock

The Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth

The process for making stock and broth is the same: simmering chicken with aromatics. However, the chicken stock tends to be made more from bony parts of the chicken, whereas chicken broth is made more out of meat.

Chicken stock is essentially the same as bone broth. It tends to have a fuller and richer flavor due to the gelatin released by long-simmering the bones.

Our recipe for homemade chicken broth is somewhat in between. It’s made with a whole chicken so you get plenty of flavor from the bones and the meat.

Chicken Stock Q&A

Before we jump into the recipe, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

What are the basic ingredients to making a good stock?

  • chicken
  • vegetables
  • spices
  • water

Should I peel vegetables for stock?

It’s up to you! Personally, I find no need to peel the vegetables for chicken stock. Simply give the vegetables a quick rinse and a rough chop. The end result will be darker-colored stock. If you prefer a lighter stock, feel free to peel the onions, carrots, and garlic.

How long should stock simmer?

Simmer the stock for 2 hours. Keep at a gentle simmer, reducing the heat if needed.

Do you simmer stock with lid on or off?

Keep the stock partially covered, leaving a small crack for the steam to escape. Otherwise, if you cook the stock completely uncovered the liquid will evaporate too much.

How do you know when chicken stock is done?

The water will turn deep golden color, chicken meat will be falling off the bones, and the vegetables will be very soft. And most importantly, the stock should taste good.

Do you dilute homemade chicken stock?

Since this chicken stock recipe is very gelatinous and rich, I like to dilute the finished stock with 2 cups of water.

Why is homemade chicken stock gelatinous?

Collagen released from the chicken bones will cause the stock to gel. It’s completely natural. Cold stock will jelly up even more but when warmed up, it will turn into liquid.

How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock Ingredients:

  • whole chicken
  • carrots
  • celery
  • onion
  • garlic
  • bay leaves
  • kosher salt
  • whole peppercorns
chicken stock ingredients

Equipment:

The Method:

Prepare the ingredients: Place chicken in a soup pot. Make sure to remove the giblets from the cavity first. Cut the carrots and celery into thirds, and quarter the onion. Add all of the vegetables, along with the garlic to the soup pot. No need to peel the garlic. Add bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns.

chicken stock in a soup pot

Boil the stock: Add enough water to cover the chicken and vegetables. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. You want a constant bubbling, mostly around the edges. Keep the pot partially covered.

Skim off scum (if you like): Skim off the scum with a skimmer that floats to the surface if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. Cook the stock for 2 hours. After 2 hours, taste the stock, and if the stock isn’t as flavorful as you’d like, keep simmering and taste again every 15 minutes.

Strain the stock: When the stock is ready, remove the chicken to a bowl using two large forks or spoons to lift it out of the stock. Remove the vegetables and any large bits with a slotted spoon. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a clean large bowl and pour the stock through the strainer. Add 2 cups of room-temperature water to the stock.

strained chicken stock from whole chicken

Store the stock: The stock is now ready to be used. Before storing let the stock cool at room temperature. Then pour into storage containers, cover, and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months. When freezing stock, leave 1/2-inch of space at the top of the container as liquid expands when frozen.

Add More Flavor to Chicken Stock

Feel free to add the following to chicken stock for even more flavor:

  • 3 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
homemade chicken stock

Ways to Use Chicken Stock

Homemade chicken stock is incredibly versatile. It can be used in any recipe that calls for chicken stock. Here are some ideas:

More stock recipes to try: Slow Cooker Chicken Stock, Vegetable Broth with Kitchen Scraps.

Print
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how to make chicken stock from whole chicken

Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade chicken stock tastes so much better than anything from the store. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 lb. whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 2 large carrots, cut into thirds
  • 5 celery ribs, cut into thirds
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 dry bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Prepare the ingredients: Place chicken in a 6.5-quart or bigger soup pot. Make sure to remove the giblets from the cavity. Cut the carrots and celery into thirds, and quarter the onion. Add all of the vegetables, along with the garlic to the soup pot. No need to peel the carrots, onion, or garlic. Add bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns. Add enough cold water to cover the chicken and vegetables.

  2. Boil the stock: Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. You want a constant bubbling, mostly around the edges. Keep the pot partially covered.

  3. Skim off scum (if you like): Skim off the scum with a skimmer that floats to the surface if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. Cook the stock for 2 hours. After 2 hours, taste the stock, and if the stock isn’t as flavorful as you’d like, keep simmering and taste again every 15 minutes.

  4. Strain the stock: When the stock is ready, remove the chicken to a bowl by lifting it out of the stock with two large forks or spoons. Remove the vegetables and any large bits with a slotted spoon. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a clean large bowl and pour the stock through the strainer. Strained stock will be very gelatinous. To dilute, stir in 2 cups of room temperature water to the stained stock. 

  5. Store the stock: The stock is now ready to be used. Before storing let the stock cool at room temperature. Then pour into storage containers, cover, and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months. When freezing stock, leave 1/2-inch of space at the top of the container as liquid expands when frozen. Makes 8 cups of stock.


Notes

  • To Use: Cold stock has jellied consistency. To use, you can let it sit at room temperature or slightly warm it up until it turns to liquid or add it in jelly form straight to your recipe. If stock is frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator first.
  • Recipe originally published 3/10/2014.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 108
  • Sugar: 6.1 g
  • Sodium: 867.4 mg
  • Fat: 2.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.7 g
  • Protein: 6.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 6.8 mg

Keywords: homemade, easy, fresh