This homemade chicken stock will knock the socks of anything you can buy at the store. Jump to the Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.
Not only does this taste better than the box, it requires little effort from you. It even lasts in the freezer up to 3 months.
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How to Make the Best Chicken Stock
Homemade chicken stock is easy to make. Use any part of the chicken — whole chickens, bones, wings and legs are excellent options. Leftover bones from roasted chicken also work.
Here are three tips for making the best chicken stock at home:
- Add more or less chicken depending on how rich you want the stock. Our recipe below calls for 12 cups of water. For a light, but flavorful chicken stock, use about 4 pounds of chicken parts. For a rich ultra-flavorful stock, use about 8 pounds.
- Add plenty of aromatics. For the most flavorful stock, add chopped onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the stockpot as well as bay leaves, peppercorns and fresh herbs.
- Keep the stock at a gentle simmer. By keeping the stock at a low simmer while it cooks, we help keep the stock as clear as possible.
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Recipe updated, originally posted October 2010. Since posting this in 2010, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Homemade Chicken Stock That's Better Than Store-Bought
This homemade chicken stock will knock the socks of anything you can buy at the store. It requires minimal effort and can be stored in the freezer up to 3 months. Most often, we will use chicken wings when making stock — they are cheaper than other cuts of meat. That said, other chicken parts, such as whole chicken, bones, breasts, and legs will work nicely.
Depending on how rich you want the stock, use more chicken parts. For a light, but flavorful stock 4 pounds of chicken parts will do. Use more for a richer stock.
You Will Need
4 to 8 pounds chicken parts, such as whole chicken, bones, wings, breast and legs
1 pound onion, peeled and chopped (2 large)
1 pound carrots, chopped (5 to 6 medium)
1 pound celery, chopped (4 to 5 celery ribs)
6 medium cloves garlic, crushed with the back of knife
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Small bunch fresh parsley or dill
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
2 teaspoons sea salt, or more to taste
12 cups cold water
Place the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, parsley or dill, peppercorns and salt in a large stockpot. Add 12 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook at a gentle simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Taste and adjust with more salt as necessary.
Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer and let cool until not hot. Transfer to containers and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 6 hours or overnight.
Skim off and remove any fat on the surface. Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
Recipe updated, originally posted September 2009. Since posting this in 2009, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne