How to Make Chicken Stock

One of the most frugal products you can make from a chicken is chicken stock. It is not only delicious and healthy but homemade chicken stock is much better than anything you can buy from the store. Come into my kitchen, and I will show you how to make chicken stock!

chicken stock

Is It Broth or Stock?

Chicken broth is made from meaty pieces of chicken whereas chicken stock is made from bones with little meat. Chicken stock is more gelatinous from the gelatin being released from the bones of the chicken and has a richer flavor. Chicken broth and chicken stock can be used interchangeably in any recipe.

Where do I get the bones?

When buying chicken from the store, chose a whole chicken. After preparing the chicken for your recipe (such as roasting etc..) save the carcass. The carcass of the chicken can be used for making stock. Another way is to buy chicken carcasses from a local farmer or a local butcher.

chicken carcass for chicken stock
Carcass of the chicken (breast, legs, thighs, and wings removed)

If you raise your own chicken and process them yourselves (read about small-scale poultry processing set up) you will have plenty of chicken carcasses to use to make stock.

Why Should I make Stock?

Making stock saves you money. From one chicken carcass (that you would be throwing away otherwise) you can get a half of a gallon or more of stock. That is two quarts of stock. Depending on what brand you buy one quart of stock is 1.50-5.00 a quart. You just saved 3.00-10.00. Now you have a base for making soup, gravy, or replace the water for stock when cooking rice or quinoa.

Health benefits. When anyone gets sick in our house with a head cold, I fix them “get well soup”. Chicken stock breaks up the mucous in your sinuses, helps you breathe better, and the salt in the broth soothes a sore throat.

You control the ingredients. Depending on the brand you buy there are some questionable ingredients added into chicken stock. Yeast extract (which is another name for msg), or natural flavors that turns out to be not so natural. I love the fact that I know exactly what is in the food I am giving my family. It’s healthier!

It tastes better! Homemade stock has a fuller, richer flavor than store bought. It really is worth your time!

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How to Make Chicken Stock

There are many methods to making chicken stock. You can use the stove top, crockpot, roaster oven (for big batches of stock), or in the insta-pot. Whether you want to quickly make stock or set it in the crockpot and walk away for a while is up to you and your schedule.

Today I am showing you how to make chicken stock on the kitchen stove. Easy and no special equipment needed.

chicken stock simmering on stove

Place the chicken carcass in a 7.5-quart pot ( I love my dutch oven). Cover the bones with water. Add your seasonings. Chopped onions, garlic, celery and carrots, bay leaves, parsley, and salt are a great start. Other herbs that you can add are oregano, thyme, sage, basil, or rosemary.

You are the master of what you add for flavoring in your stock. The amounts you add are also your choice. You can make stock with just water and salt, or you can season it now while simmering your stock.

chicken stock in jars
Results from simmering one chicken carcass

Allow the chicken carcass to simmer for 2-3 hours. I check it and give it a stir once and a while. Once the carcass easily falls apart, I know that the stock is finished. Turn off the heat and allow the stock to cool for about 30 minutes. Strain the stock and place it into a vessel of your choice.

Preserve the Stock

Store your stock in the refrigerator for up to seven days. You can also put it in a quart or gallon size freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to six months. Also, you can home can the chicken stock so that it is shelf stable, or even dehydrate some of your stock and make homemade chicken bouillon.


One more bonus from making chicken stock is the extra bits of meat from the carcass. From one carcass I got one cup of meat.

1 cup of chicken

So, from one whole chicken you can have dinner (or several dinners depending on how you use it), 1 cup of bonus chicken meat, and a half of a gallon of chicken stock.

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