How to Make Rich and Flavorful Chicken Stock

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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.

Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • Christy Lou wrote:

    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.

  • Jen Schall wrote:

    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!

  • Vivian wrote:

    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.

  • Laura Flowers wrote:

    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.


  • Barbara wrote:

    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!

  • SinfulSouthernSweets wrote:

    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!!

  • K. Anne wrote:

    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.

    • Henry wrote:

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

    • Katrice wrote:

      @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 =)

  • patsy wrote:

    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.

  • Chaya wrote:

    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.

  • Lauren wrote:

    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.

  • Gera @ SweetsFoodsBl wrote:

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



  • Frank Giglio wrote:

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

  • Bob wrote:

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

  • Foy (Garden. Cook.) wrote:

    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.

    • K. Anne wrote:

      @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.

  • Josie wrote:

    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 🙂

  • Ed Schenk wrote:

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

  • Sarah wrote:

    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.

  • Fran wrote:

    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.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      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 😉

    • Foy (Garden. Cook.) wrote:

      @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!

  • MaryMoh wrote:

    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.

  • nina wrote:

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