How to Make Rich and Flavorful Chicken Stock

Now that I’m addicted to roasting my own whole chickens, I’m also pretty attached to making Homemade Chicken Stock. I can’t even imagine tossing a chicken carcass in the trash… what an incredible waste that would be. Making homemade stock is very simple. The carcass goes in a big pot with water, vegetables and a few herbs/seasonings. It simmers for quite some time, solids are strained out, and then you’ll find yourself with stock. Why would you want stock? Well, consider it a really, really good chicken broth… much richer in flavor and perfect for making soups. Even if you don’t plan to use the stock for anything in the near future, it freezes beautifully.

I pretty much throw everything under the sun into the pot with the chicken: onions, carrots, leeks, celery, parsnips, garlic, and fresh thyme, dill & parsley. A little salt and pepper added too and it’s set to simmer for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, the solids are strained out and the rich, golden stock can be poured into a bowl, covered and refrigerated overnight. Chilling the stock allows the fat to rise to the top so you can easily get rid of it. The stock becomes jelly-like when it’s chilled. It’ll return to its normal, liquid state once it warms up again.



At this point you can decide what to do with it. Freeze it to use later, or use it up within a few days for soup or risotto… or something else.

My complete recipe with instructions can be printed out here: Homemade Chicken Stock.

Leave a Comment




49 Responses to “How to Make Rich and Flavorful Chicken Stock”

  1. 1

    nina — March 4, 2010 @ 3:19 AM

    This is an awesome post….love all the photos with the text all over them…..bookmarked!!!

  2. 2

    MaryMoh — March 4, 2010 @ 4:11 AM

    Love the way you do the chicken stock. Looks thick and flavourful. I’ll put in more herbs next time for extra flavour. Love all the pictures.

  3. 3

    Fran — March 4, 2010 @ 5:56 AM

    Not that I’m miss frugal — I might be the anthesis of her — but don’t throw away the chicken fat. It’s great in matzo balls or on a slice or matzo or dare I say, as a substitute for the trendy, fashionable dishes that are touting duck fat these days and oh so much less expensive.

  4. 4

    Sarah — March 4, 2010 @ 6:13 AM

    I’m with Fran – I always save the fat; it seems when I *don’t* have any left on hand, there are a myriad of dishes I could be needing some for. I love to throw my scraps / trimmings / herbs in the crockpot with a splash of white wine added to the water, bring to a simmer and let it go overnight, set on low.

  5. 5

    Lori Lange — March 4, 2010 @ 6:21 AM

    It definitely never occurs to me to save the fat. I’m much too worried about fat most of the time to turn around and add it to anything else (though I know it would likely be a great addition to other dishes!) I guess I need to work on getting rid of my fat phobia ;)

  6. 6

    Ed Schenk — March 4, 2010 @ 6:44 AM

    Home made stock is definatively better. Canned stock/broth has too much salt!

  7. 7

    Josie — March 4, 2010 @ 6:59 AM

    I second the recommendation for saving the fat and/or leaving a bit of it on top of the stock. It really adds to the flavor.
    I cook my stock way longer than you – I love just leaving it overnight on the barest simmer (you can do it in the oven if you’re worried about leaving an open flame running all night). It is far more convenient to me to have a day delay to “deal with” all the stock :)

  8. 8

    Foy (Garden. Cook.) — March 4, 2010 @ 8:06 AM

    You got some great pictures of stock! I tried, but mine look more muddy and less golden.

    I think, correct me if I’m wrong, but you made broth. Stock involves a more lengthy process to get the gelatin out of the bones and only bones are used, no veggies. I use the same process and a friend pointed out I was actually making broth. So here I am passing on this message, although I may not have remembered it correctly.

  9. 9

    Foy (Garden. Cook.) — March 4, 2010 @ 8:09 AM

    @Lori Lange, Never throw the fat away! That’s good stuff! I use chicken fat when I make savory breads like dinner rolls or burger buns. I can’t taste the chicken and you have to add some oil or butter to bread, so why not use what you’ve got. It makes me feel very Little House on The Prairie when I use every little bit of the chicken.

    I often use the chicken or bacon fat when I make beans. I think it adds a little something extra.

    Don’t be afraid of the fat!

  10. 10

    Bob — March 4, 2010 @ 10:34 AM

    Homemade chicken stock is the best, hands down. I’m almost out, I should really make some more. Heh.

  11. 11

    Frank Giglio — March 4, 2010 @ 12:37 PM

    Great Recipe! I am a huge fan of chicken stock not only for use in many recipes, but also for its medicinal components! Thanks!
    -Franky

  12. 12

    Gera @ SweetsFoodsBl — March 4, 2010 @ 1:46 PM

    Wonderful recipe with detailed text on pics, a full class for a gorgeous chicken :)

    Cheers,

    Gera

  13. 13

    Lauren — March 4, 2010 @ 3:27 PM

    I love making my own stock! I actually don’t care much for roasted chicken (or any chicken) but I’ll occasionally make one just so I can have the carcass for stock.

  14. 14

    Chaya — March 4, 2010 @ 4:55 PM

    What cozy looking soup. I make mine in the biggest pot and freeze most of it in separate containers. Always have soup available with a few more vegetables and spices.

    You might be interested in cookware giveaway.

    http://sweetsav.blogspot.com/2010/03/paula-deen-skillets-yes-giveaway.html

  15. 15

    patsy — March 4, 2010 @ 6:57 PM

    I love making my own chicken stock! I actually have that planned this weekend in anticipation of Passover coming so I will have enough for Matzah Ball soup… so much wonderful flavor when you make it yourself.

  16. 16

    K. Anne — March 4, 2010 @ 9:25 PM

    Does anyone ever do anything with the veggies that are cooked to make the stock? I always feel like I am wasting them if I throw them away.

  17. 17

    K. Anne — March 4, 2010 @ 9:37 PM

    @Foy (Garden. Cook.), I was curious as to the difference between stock & broth as well. Broth is when you cook the meat (as in dropping a whole chicken, or chicken parts with meat and bones) and stock is when you just cook the bones. It seems that the veggies, etc. in the pot have nothing to do with the difference between the two. Stock is considered richer (in flavor) since it pulls out more marrow, etc. from the bones when you cook them alone.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/chicken-stock-vs-chicken-broth/index.html

  18. 18

    SinfulSouthernSweets — March 5, 2010 @ 2:56 AM

    What a great post! I have to say I feel like I learned something new today. I had not idea you could make broth with a carcass. For some reason, I thought you had to have the whole chicken. I’ve been throwing carcasses from roasted chicken away for ages. Think of all the broth I could have had! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  19. 19

    Henry — March 5, 2010 @ 3:42 AM

    @K. Anne,I’m too frugle to throw the vegs out; I eat’m or put them in a blender with tomato juice. Yummm……

  20. 20

    Barbara — March 5, 2010 @ 5:25 AM

    I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t done this in years. I had a recipe for this from an old cookbook called Glorious Food that I used for years. I really must get on the ball here, because think how often we use chicken broth and it is SO much better homemade!

  21. 21

    Laura Flowers — March 5, 2010 @ 8:16 AM

    Great post! Your stock looks much more beautiful than mine with all the goodies. I’ll be making stock your way this weekend.

    And I read Foy’s comment. I didn’t know about using the fat for baking! I’m going to try that too.

    Laura

  22. 22

    Vivian — March 5, 2010 @ 9:17 AM

    Using the brown skins from the onions gives the broth a rich golden color and adding a wee splash of white wine vinegar helps bring the calcium out of the bones.

  23. 23

    Jen Schall — March 5, 2010 @ 12:13 PM

    Beautiful stock! I need to make chicken stock more often. I’m not sure why I don’t do it more often. I usually end up buying it at the store, which gets to be pricey!

  24. 24

    Christy Lou — March 5, 2010 @ 12:15 PM

    Lvoe homemade stock. I have only recently been turned on to it. I use a lot of broth or stock in risotto and other dishes, so making my own helps a lot. Also, I make it in the crockpot. Same idea: Chicken bones,water to the top of the pot, veggies, peppercorns, herbs, etc. Then I turn it on for 12 hours on Low. I turn it on before I go to bed and then the next morning there is beautiful ready to use stock. I also freeze it in Ziploc reusable containers that hold the same amount as a regular can of chicken broth.

  25. 25

    Aimee — March 5, 2010 @ 2:25 PM

    Embrace the fat, Lori! =)
    Love this post. I’m adding it to my weekend link love.

  26. 26

    telesma — March 5, 2010 @ 7:26 PM

    Lovely, and great pictures.

    I do this in the slow cooker, overnight on low. Cool it, strain it, and refrigerate it in freezer containers when I get up the next morning, then skim it and pop it into the freezer in the afternoon.

    The fat is good for making crust for chicken pot pie, and it’s the best thing besides duck fat for making roux for gumbo.

  27. 27

    telesma — March 5, 2010 @ 7:29 PM

    Forgot to add, if you want to use the fat, use organic/veg fed/free range chicken. The kind with white skin, not yellow skinned chemical chicken. You will get a much, much better flavor.

  28. 28

    kashya — March 5, 2010 @ 7:40 PM

    I also just posted something similar to your stock, in Poland we make something called rosol which is the same thing except we use the raw meat to make the stock. I like using the carcass the bones make the stock so rich you can tell when it cools a bit cuz it becomes a bit gelatinous.

  29. 29

    Chez Us — March 5, 2010 @ 8:02 PM

    GREAT photos Lori! I am the same way … addicted to making stock. I started doing it a couple years ago and once I start I am making all kinds of it. Reminds me I need to stock up and make chicken & beef – we are low!

  30. 30

    Sophie — March 7, 2010 @ 12:08 AM

    Hello Lori,

    You explain every step so well,…thanks for sharing & i will make this tomorrow!! I also love your lovely pictures!!

  31. 31

    Janice — March 9, 2010 @ 4:08 AM

    It is so simple to make homemade chicken stock – I should do it more often. Thanks for the great recipe and photos!

  32. 32

    Katrice — October 6, 2010 @ 10:18 AM

    @Henry, Agreed =)throwing them out is a waste! I cut my onions into fourths when I make it and when the broth is done all the veggies are tender and delicious. Good stuff =)

  33. 33

    sonya — March 24, 2011 @ 5:06 PM

    I am so excited to make my first stock…added lots of veggies and herbs also am trying a little bit of turmeric and ginger in it. I am planning to make chicken soup with leftover meat and adding shiitake mushrooms. Yummy!

  34. 34

    Lori Lange — March 25, 2011 @ 9:07 AM

    @sonya, sounds terrific!

  35. 35

    Jewel — October 10, 2011 @ 7:29 PM

    If you live near a Hispanic or Asian market, pick up some chicken feet and add them to the stock. With all the extra protein and gelatin, they put an already great recipe over the top!

    You can also make great stock without bones. Just use one pound of chicken feet per quart of water, add veggies and simmer all day. Scrumptious!

  36. 36

    Mel — December 4, 2011 @ 2:49 PM

    Toss in egg shells too. It helps clarify it so it’s nice and clear.

  37. 37

    jesse — February 1, 2012 @ 2:26 PM

    Thanks for thepost, this weekend will be my first time doing this. Exciting!

  38. 38

    Joliluja — May 29, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

    I loved this so much I tried it out on my own with a few adaptations! Thanks SO much for sharing!!

    http://joliluja.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/homemade-chicken-stock/

  39. 39

    Rynea Browning — October 2, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

    Hi I am Loving all of you blogs. Some very usefull information. But I do have one question after I make my stock and broth instead of freezing them can I can them or are they shelf able?

  40. 40

    Lori Lange — October 3, 2012 @ 10:40 AM

    I’m not so familiar with canning, but I wouldn’t think so. You’d probably want to find a recipe that showed you how to do that.

  41. 41

    christina — October 9, 2012 @ 10:32 AM

    So do you not use the vegetables aftrr making the stock? This looks delicious but the though of wasting celery, carrots and onions just seems silly. Do you have to add vegetables for chicken stock or can you just season the carcass and then boil that? Thanks!

  42. 42

    Lori Lange — October 9, 2012 @ 10:43 AM

    The vegetables are what gives a stock that wonderful, rich flavor (I’m not sure you would get that from just using seasonings). I do toss the veggies after making this, since they’ve given up all of their flavor into the broth- they’re wilted and useless after that.

  43. 43

    Desiree — December 7, 2012 @ 5:42 AM

    Thank you for this great article! Love the pics and the recipe is so easy! I’m just learning how to cook and found it very helpful – thank you.

  44. 44

    nancy — January 17, 2013 @ 10:28 PM

    Freeze some of the stock in Ice cube tray. after frozen transfer to plastic bag. small amounts for stir fry, and other items

  45. 45

    Cherish Zenati — March 29, 2013 @ 1:00 PM

    Love this recipe ! I’m sad to say I have never been a fan of dark meat chicken and usually just give that part to the dog. I have been searching for a very rich and flavorful chicken broth similar to the one they serve at my favorite Thia restaurant. This must be how they make there soup so delicious :) simmering the dark meat bones along with vegetables. Can’t wait to try this. Thank you

  46. 46

    Emily — September 7, 2013 @ 11:57 AM

    I don’t see how this is a recipe. I’ve never done this and I don’t know how much water and of everything to put in. Got all my ingredients sitting on the counter so now I’ve gotta find another recipe.

  47. 47

    Lori Lange — September 7, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

    at the end of the recipe, it directs you to another page where you can print out instructions and actual recipe: http://www.recipegirl.com/2007/03/03/homemade-chicken-stock/

  48. 48

    Debra — November 6, 2013 @ 6:02 AM

    Please link some recipes that can be made using the chicken stock we just made. Thanks!

  49. 49

    Lori Lange — November 7, 2013 @ 8:27 AM

    Here’s a good link for you! http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock