Making homemade chicken stock is one of those get-back-to-basics recipes that elevates so many dishes. Today I’ll show you how to make stock from leftover bones, basic aromatics, and leftover ingredients with multiple options to customize your batch!
Restaurants make their own stock as a base to soups, sauces, and an array of dishes to add a depth of flavor that’s hard to replicate from store-bought broth.
Bone Broth vs Chicken Stock vs Chicken Broth
Having become a bone broth aficionado for the last few years, I’ve come to learn the differences between stock and bone broth. Chicken stock is more related to bone broth in that you simmer bones and aromatics for hours.
The difference is rich bone broth often requires more bones than stock and needs to be gently simmered for 12-24 hours to extract as much collagen as possible to increase the nutritional value. The more gelatinous it is when it’s cooled, the better.
Chicken stock can be simmered for as little as 3 hours or up to 8 hours. Stock generally doesn’t require as many bones unless you’re really wanting to up the amount of collagen in your stock.
Basically, they are the same thing with slight variations.
Chicken broth on the other hand is a quick version of the two above that won’t pack as much flavor because you aren’t simmering bones for hours. The flavor comes from simmering the meat and aromatics.
Can I speed up the cooking process for stock?
Absolutely! I have tested lots of bone broth recipes over the years and the same rules apply to stock. An Instant Pot or pressure cooker will be your best friend for cooking incredibly flavored broth in less than 3 hours!
Check out my Instant Pot Bone Broth recipe here. It’s very similar to this recipe but you use more bones to make the broth.
What if I can’t be by the stove for so many hours?
In this case, the slow cooker will be your best bet for slowly simmering your stock without having to babysit it. You can increase the time to 8-12 hours if you want to cook it all day or overnight.
The only downside is the size of the crockpot may not be as big as a stock pot, so your recipe will make less broth. But it’s still the best option so that you don’t have to worry about leaving the house or being away from your kitchen while it’s cooking.
What kind of bones do you use?
You can use a whole chicken carcass or a combination of bones from leftover chicken wings, thighs, and breasts.
Or you can buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and save the bones. You freeze the bones in a container or freezer bag for up to one month.
Can I cook the meat on the bones in the stock too?
Yes you can, but you’ll need to remove the meat when it’s cooked through, let it rest for at least 10 minutes, then cut or pull the meat off of the bones. You’ll want to add the bones back to the broth to finish simmering.
I love to roast my own chicken. enjoy it for dinner, then save the bones for stock to really stretch a dollar and make good use of all ingredients.
Check out my Upside Down Roasted Chicken Recipe for a mouth-watering recipe!
To get started, simply crush the garlic and leave the skins on. Chop the carrots into halves or thirds. Quarter the onions and leave the skins on.
Now add the bones to a large stock pot, instant pot, or slow cooker. Add filtered water (if possible) and the aromatics from the photo above, along with peppercorns and herbs.
Partially cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a gentle simmer. Lower the heat to low and keep the lid on but only partially covering the pot.
After three hours the stock will look like the photo below. If you’d like to simmer it for more than 3 hours or up to 8 hours, you’ll need to remove some of the foam that rises to the top.
If the water level lowers during longer simmering, you can add more water back to the pot. See the recipe card for instructions on cooking the stock in an Instant Pot or slow cooker.
Storing the Stock
You can pour the stock into mason jars and use a tea strainer to remove any solids from the stock. Leave one inch of space from the top to allow for expansion when you freeze your stock, otherwise the glass could crack in the freezer. Cover with the mason jar lid when it’s cooled.
Refrigerate and use the stock within three days or freeze for one month.
Enjoy this broth on its own in a cup or use it to cook rice, risotto, sauces, etc.!
Freeze broth into ice cubes
A simple way to freeze this stock is to freeze them into ice cubes! Once the cubes are frozen, remove them from the ice cube tray and store in a container or freezer bag.
This takes up less space in your freezer and when you are ready to use it, you can thaw only a small portion of broth at once.
Recipes to make with homemade stock
Don’t forget to save your chicken bones and make flavorful stock at home. So many dishes will be elevated with it and you’ll save money too!
Bon Appetit Ya’ll,
Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe
- Large Stock Pot
- Or use an Instant Pot to speed up cooking time
- Or a Crock Pot to safely cook it all day or overnight without having to watch it
- 1 Chicken carcass from one whole chicken
- filtered water the amount will differ based on the size of your pot
- 3 whole carrots cut into thirds, keep skins on
- 2 small onions or 1 large one, quartered with skins on
- 5 garlic cloves crushed with skins on
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary kept whole
- fresh thyme sprigs 4-7 sprigs kept whole
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
See ingredient substitutions in the recipe notes below
Cooking stock on the stove top
- Add the chicken carcass and any other wings or thigh bones you have, carrots, crushed garlic with skins, quartered onions with skins, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, whole peppercorns to a large stock pot.
- Add filtered water (if possible) to just below the top of the pan, leaving a little room at the top so it doesn't boil over.
- Place on the stove top on medium-high heat and partially cover with a lid to allow the water to come to a gentle simmer.
- Once it comes to a simmer lower the heat to low and keep the pot partially covered.
- Simmer for as little as 3 hours or up to 8 hours for best flavor in your stock.
If you simmer for more than 3 hours
- If you simmer for more than 3 hours, you may need to skim the surface of the foam that rises to the top a couple of times. You can use a hand-held sifter to catch the foam easily. You can also use a spoon if you don't have a hand-held sifter.
- If the water level lowers due to simmering, add some more water while it's simmering.
Storing the stock
- Strain the bones and ingredients from the pot.
- You can pour the stock into mason jars if you have them. I like using a tea strainer when pouring in the stock to strain out any solids from the liquid.Use the stock within 3 days of refrigerating.
Freezing the stock
- Freeze in mason jars but make sure to let the broth cool down before freezing. Also leave an inch of empty space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion, otherwise the glass jar could crack in the freezer.Or you can freeze your broth into ice cubes so you'll have smaller servings to thaw when you need it. Once the cubes are frozen, remove them from the ice cube tray and store in a container or freezer bag.This takes up less space in your freezer and when you are ready to use it, you can thaw only a small portion of broth at once.
Instant Pot instructions (the panel buttons may vary based on your model)
- Add the chicken bones and all other ingredients to the pot. Fill the pot with filtered water all the way up to the fill line, and no more.
- Place the lid on and turn to secure it. Make sure it's sealed. Flip the knob towards "sealing" to seal in the pressure.
- Press "pressure cook". Turn the time to 2 hours or 120 minutes. The instant pot should say "on" at this point. This means that the pot is heating up and pressurizing. This should take about 30 minutes. Once the instant pot is up to temperature, it will start timing the 2-hour pressure cooking, so you will know how long this will take.
- Once the instant pot is done with the cooking process, the heat will turn off. At this point, you will need to release the pressure from the pot. However, I do NOT recommend releasing the pressure manually from the pressure knob. Instead, allow the pressure to release naturally, which takes 10-25 minutes, but will keep steam/broth from shooting all over your ceiling!
- When the silver knob drops next to the knob, the pressure has released. Remove the lid and strain out all of the ingredients.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Add the chicken carcass and additional ingredients to the crock pot. Pour in enough water to almost the top of the pot.
- Secure the lid on the crock pot and set the cooking time to low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4 hours.
- Remove the lid and skim the foam from the surface with a handheld flour sifter or a spoon.
Swap out ingredients:If you don’t have onions you can use:
- 3-5 whole shallots cut in half with skins on.
- A bundle of green onions. Use the entire thing in the pot.
- Fresh parsley (you can also use all three if you have these on hand).
- Keep your onion skins, garlic skins, and carrot skins from previous uses and freeze them in a container. Add the extra vegetable scraps to the pot for extra flavor.
- Lemongrass stalk
- Large slice of fresh ginger
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