How to Make Chicken Stock
This post about How to Make Chicken Stock can help you make delicious homemade chicken stock, and I’m sharing all my tips! And I love the way making stock makes your house smell good, and it’s satisfying to make something useful from scraps that might be thrown away.
I wrote this post on How to Make Chicken Stock many years ago and I’ve been making homemade chicken, beef, ham, and turkey stock now for more years than I can remember. If you come to my condo, I’ll probably have at least 10 containers of stock in the freezer, despite the fact that I use it all the time.
And even though I’m not always a frugal cook, I’m religious about saving scraps, chicken carcasses and leftover veggies, and make stock at least once every month or so. If you ask me, homemade chicken stock is a wonderful thing!
What ingredients do you need?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- chicken scraps or chicken carcass with bones
- large carrots
- Better than Bouillon Organic Roasted Chicken Base (affiliate link), optional but recommended
Three reason I love making homemade chicken stock:
- I love the way making homemade stock uses things that would have otherwise been thrown away.
- I also love the way simmering stock on the stove for hours will make your house smell amazing.
- And in my mind, homemade chicken stock is so flavor that it really takes recipes to a whole new level.
Want to add more flavor to your homemade chicken stock?
I’m not a stock-making purist, and I often use a little bit of chicken soup base to add more flavor to the stock. Don’t use too much though or it will make the chicken stock salty, and DO NOT use bouillon cubes, they are usually way too salty. My favorite brand by far is Better than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base (affiliate link); something that’s always in my fridge. (Edit: Shirley from Gluten Free Easily tells me that Better than Bouillon no longer guarantees their products are gluten-free, so that brand won’t work for people who have to avoid gluten.)
What if you just don’t have time to make chicken stock?
Nothing is quite as good as homemade chicken stock of course. But you can also buy pretty good chicken stock (the kind in the cartons at Costco is my favorite for purchased stock.) So if making stock is not something you can fit in your schedule that often, no worries.
How to Make Chicken Stock:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Start with scraps of chicken or carcasses. (Save them up in the freezer.)
- You also need onions, celery, and carrots.
- If you’re going to make stock often, you might want to invest in a stock skimmer (affiliate link) for skimming off the foam from stock while it’s cooking. I also use it to scoop out cooked vegetables when I’m discarding them.
- Put the chicken scraps, chicken base (if using), onions, celery, and carrots in a huge stock pot with water.
- Let it cook all day at a very low simmer, adding water as needed.
- After the stock has cooked least for at least 6 hours), I simmer without adding water to reduce it by about 1/3.
- Then remove the meat and veggies and strain the stock.
- You can also remove the fat by cooling the stock and then scraping off the fat from the top.
- Now you have delicious chicken stock ready to put in the freezer and which can be used in a huge variety of dishes.
- If you’re wondering why I don’t label the containers, it’s because I label my beef stock, turkey stock, and ham stock, and leave the chicken stock without a label, since I make it the most and use it regularly. But if you don’t have other kinds of stock in your freezer I recommend labeling it with the date and name.
More Ways to Make Stock:
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 3-4 cups of chicken scraps or chicken carcass with bones
- 1 - 2 onions
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 - 3 large carrots
- enough water to cover the chicken and vegetables
- Better than Bouillon roasted chicken base (optional but recommended)
- To make chicken stock, start with scraps of chicken or chicken carcasses. (Save them up in the freezer until you have enough to make a big batch of stock.)
- You also need onions, celery, and carrots. If you have any veggies that are past their prime, this is the perfect use for them.
- Put the chicken scraps, onions, celery, and carrots in a huge stock pot with enough water. to cover the chicken and vegetables by a few inches.
- I always use a little bit of chicken soup base to speed up the process a little. I like Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base, but there are a few good brands. (Do NOT use bouillon cubes, they are way too salty.)
- Let it cook all day (or at least six hours) at a very low simmer, adding water whenever it gets low.
- After the stock has cooked all day I usually reduce it by about 1/3 before I scoop out the vegetables and chicken.
- When you're through cooking it, remove the meat and veggies and strain the stock somehow. I use a yogurt strainer and a fat separator, which removes the fat by taking the liquid off the bottom. Any fine strainer will work. You can also remove the fat by cooling the stock, then spooning off the hardened fat.
- Now you have delicious chicken stock ready to put in the freezer and which can be used in a huge variety of dishes. (Taste to see if you want to simmer longer to concentrate the flavor.)
Nutritional information is hard to calculate for a recipe like this that doesn't give exact amounts, but chicken stock is very low in carbs.
I like to freeze this in two cup containers, which is just slight more than one can of chicken broth.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
It’s difficult to calculate nutritional information for a recipe like this that’s made using the amount of food scraps you have on hand, but chicken stock is definitely low-carb, Keto, and approved for the original South Beach Diet. If you need it to be gluten-free, be sure to check ingredients if you add chicken flavor base, and use reduced-sodium chicken base if that’s important to you too.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the category for Cooking Tips to find more ideas like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This much-used recipe for chicken stock was first posted in 2006, and I had been making it years before that. It was last updated with more information in 2023.