Using leftover chicken bones and basic kitchen veggies, this simple Chicken Stock recipe will guide you through how to make Chicken Stock on the stovetop or your crockpot. It’s rich, flavorful and makes the perfect base for soups, stews, risotto and more.
Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe
Homemade Chicken Stock is one of the first recipes that any professional chef learns to make. Stocks are the base for so many other recipes such as soups, stews, rice dishes and gravy.
Do not be scared off by the time it takes to cook, as most of the hours are hands off. You just need to keep an eye on things to make sure the stock doesn’t come to a rolling boil, or to check and see if you need to add a little extra water. Otherwise, the method and ingredients for stock are simple. In fact, making bone broth from rotisserie chicken is one of my favorite kitchen hacks. From there, you just need onion, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves.
A few of our favorite recipes that use chicken stock are Cheesy Chicken and Rice, Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken, Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, and of course, our Easy Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup. Go ahead and make plenty because Chicken Stock freezes perfectly.
Chicken Stock Ingredients
- Chicken Bones - you can buy chicken bones from your local butcher, but using a rotisserie chicken is simple and makes a delicious Chicken Stock. Just pick the meat off of the cooked chicken and use it for something else. You can also use leftover bones from a chicken carcass that you’ve cooked for something else, or even bones cut from raw chicken parts.
- Carrots - peel and slice into large chunks.
- Onions - I like to use either white or yellow onions. They only need to be quartered - no need to dice.
- Garlic - you can simply peel the garlic cloves and add them whole.
- Celery - chop celery stalks into large pieces, leaving the tops on because they have a lot of flavor.
- Bay Leaves - fresh bay leaves have a stronger flavor, but dried will work in a pinch.
- Water - you’ll need enough water to keep the ingredients submerged.
How to Make Chicken Stock Recipe
- Put ingredients in a pot. In a large stockpot, add the chicken bones, carrots, onion, garlic, celery and bay leaves. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the ingredients.
- Simmer. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook for 6-8 hours, skimming the surface occasionally and adding a little extra water if needed to cover ingredients. Make sure it does not come to a boil.
- Strain. Remove from the heat and carefully strain through a fine-mesh strainer into another large pot or other heatproof container.
- Chill. Add a large bag of ice to a cooler or your kitchen sink and add a little water to make an ice bath. Add the strained stock and let cool completely before storing in the fridge.
- Store. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Use as the base of soup, or drink warm as bone broth. Enjoy!
How to Make Chicken Stock in a Slow Cooker
- Add all of the ingredients into a large slow cooker.
- Add enough water to cover all ingredients.
- Cook on low for 12-24 hours, removing any skim as needed from the surface (Pro Tip: I like to put my slow cooker in the garage to make Chicken Stock so that the house doesn’t smell like chicken for days).
- Cool and store as directed above.
Tips and Tricks
- Be sure to check your Chicken Stock every couple of hours to see if you need to add any more water.
- Don’t cook your stock on the stovetop overnight - safety first!
- If you use a slow cooker, you may want to put it in the garage or a back patio so that they entire house doesn’t smell like chicken for days.
- You can also make Chicken Stock in the oven. Place ingredients in a dutch oven, cover and cook at around 300 degrees for about 12 hours, checking every couple of hours.
- This Chicken Stock has a lot of health benefits, so feel free to warm it up and drink it as is.
Frequently Asked Questions
While they are both made with similar ingredients, there are a few main differences between chicken stock vs broth. First, Chicken Stock is made by slowly simmering bones and mirepoux (onion, carrot, celery) and then straining the liquid. It also tends to be a bit thicker because of the bones, and usually isn’t made using herbs and spices. Chicken broth, on the other hand, is often made by actually taking chicken stock and adding other meat, vegetables and herbs. Therefore, it’s usually a little thinner and more flavorful.
If you are cooking your stock on the stovetop, it should be cooked at a very low simmer for about 6-8 hours. That will give it enough time for the collagens and flavors to release into the stock.
It’s important not to let your stock come to a boil. Once it starts to boil, the fats begin to emulsify into the stock which is not what you want! If you leave it at a very low simmer, the fats will rise to the top, instead, and they can be skimmed off the top.
You want to leave the lid off when making Chicken Stock. This helps to concentrate the liquid, which also concentrates the flavors.
Storing and Freezing
- Refrigerator: store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: store cooled Chicken Stock in freezer bags or even ice cubes for up to 3 months. To thaw, transfer to the fridge overnight.
- To reheat: put stock into a dutch oven or sauce pot and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. Use as desired.
Chicken Stock Recipe
- Bones from 1 large Chicken rotisserie or leftover cooked chicken
- 4 large Carrots
- 1 large Onion
- 5 cloves Garlic
- 3 stalks Celery
- 3 Bay leaves
- Water enough to cover
- In a large stockpot, add the chicken bones, carrots, onion, garlic, celery and bay leaves. Fill the pot with water enough to cover the ingredients.
- Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook for 6-8 hours, skimming the surface occasionally and adding a little extra water if needed to cover ingredients. Make sure it does not come to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and carefully strain through a fine-mesh strainer into another large pot or other heatproof container.
- Add a large bag of ice to a cooler or your kitchen sink and add a little water to make an ice bath. Add the strained stock and let cool completely before storing in the fridge.
- Store in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Use as the base of soup, or drink warm as bone broth. Enjoy!
More of Our Favorite Soup Recipes
- Tuscan Soup
- Homemade Beef Stew
- Easy Lasagna Soup
- White Chicken Chili
- Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup
- Creamy Curry Squash Soup
- Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup
- More Soup Recipes
- More Healthy Chicken Recipes
Homemade Chicken Stock is an easy, delicious and simple recipe. Whether you're drinking bone broth for your health or just looking for a delicious base for your favorite soup, this is the recipe for you.