This homemade chicken stock will knock the socks off of anything you can buy at the store. Use leftover bones or use chicken parts.
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Related: We love this whole roasted chicken recipe!
Not only does this taste better than the box, but it is also easy to make, and this homemade chicken stock lasts in the freezer for up to 3 months. By the way, you can use leftover bones to make this, here’s how to roast a whole chicken with lemon and garlic. You can roast the chicken for dinner and make stock the next day!
More: For a more delicate flavored broth, take a look at how we make chicken broth, which cooks for less than 2 hours and starts with a whole chicken.
How to Make the Best Chicken Stock or Broth
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 really well.
Here are three tips for making the best chicken stock at home:
1) Add more or less chicken, depending on how rich you want the stock. Our recipe below calls for 12 cups of water. Use about 4 pounds of chicken parts for a light but flavorful chicken stock. For a rich ultra-flavorful broth, use about 8 pounds of chicken.
2) Add plenty of aromatics. Add chopped onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and fresh herbs for the most flavorful stock. Other vegetables like fennel and leek are also excellent.
3) Keep the stock at a gentle simmer. Staying at a low simmer helps keep the stock as clear as possible.
Our Favorite Ways To Use Homemade Chicken Stock
We love soups, here are a few of our favorites:
- Easy Homemade Vegetable Soup
- Creamy Potato Soup
- Quick, Creamy Veggie Soup
- The Best Chicken Noodle Soup
- Delicious Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
We also love using homemade broth to cook rice. Try our Cilantro Lime Rice!
Recipe updated, originally posted October 2010. Since posting this in 2010, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Easy Homemade Chicken Stock
This homemade chicken stock will knock the socks off of anything you can buy at the store. It requires minimal effort, and you can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months!
We will often use chicken wings when making stock — they are cheaper than other cuts of meat. Other chicken parts will work nicely, such as whole chicken, bones, breasts, and legs.
Depending on how rich you want the stock, use more chicken parts. For example, four pounds of chicken parts will do for a light but flavorful stock, or use more for a richer stock.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
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
1/2 pound carrots, chopped (4 to 5 medium)
1/2 pound celery, chopped (3 to 4 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
1Place the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, parsley or dill, peppercorns, and salt in a large stockpot.
2Add 12 cups of water and bring to a boil. If the water does not cover the contents of the pot, add a cup or two more water.
3Reduce the heat to low and cook at a gentle simmer, uncovered, for about 4 hours. As it simmers, it is normal for some foam or scum to rise to the top; we use a spoon to remove it.
4After three hours, taste and adjust the broth with more salt.
5To strain the stock, we use a slotted spoon to remove the larger pieces of bone and vegetables. Then we pour the stock through a fine-mesh strainer to catch all the smaller bits.
6Transfer to containers and refrigerate for up to five days or freeze for up to 3 months.
7After the stock has chilled, fat will rise to the surface. We usually leave this, but you can remove the fat for a leaner broth.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. It was difficult to estimate actual numbers for this recipe, but we have done our best.
Recipe updated, originally posted September 2009. Since posting this in 2009, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne