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. Jump to the Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Homemade Chicken Stock That's Better Than Store-Bought

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.

How to Make the Best Chicken Stock

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

  • PREP
  • COOK

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.

Makes approximately 12 cups

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

AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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4 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Oliver Schmid February 8, 2018, 1:02 pm

    I don’t add salt to any stock. Leave that for whatever dish you’re using it for as many ingredients already have sodium content. Same thing for the garlic. Many dishes don’t have garlic in them. Adding dill to the stock also limits it’s uses as dill is very powerful but seldom used in daily cooking which is what you’re making a stock for. If you put the herbs in a cheese cloth you don’t end up with little bits of vegetation that the strainer doesn’t catch. Those bits also end up rising to the top and getting trapped in the oil when you want them in the water. You also need to skim the natural scum that is released before straining it. I do that throughout the cooking period. With that scum I also skim the oil. If the oil has herbs in it they end up getting scooped up as well, another reason they should be in a cheese cloth. The refrigeration process solidifies the remaining fat making it easy to remove the last bits of it.

  • Evelyn February 4, 2018, 12:09 pm

    Easy banana bread…. delish. Banana and blueberry muffins also just ready… smell & look gorgeous.. followed recipes to a t really.. can’t wait, SUCCESS THANKS SO MUCH

  • Eliana October 15, 2010, 11:12 am

    Homemade stock is so easy to make and is waaaay beter than the store-bought stuff. This recipe and technique looks like a keeper to me.

    • inspiredtaste October 15, 2010, 11:21 am

      Thanks Eliana, it is the technique I was taught in school. It leaves you with a simple, clear and delicately flavored stock.


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