Homemade Chicken Stock

Basic chicken stock

The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
878 Calories
49g Fat
5g Carbs
98g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 878
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 14g 69%
Cholesterol 308mg 103%
Sodium 336mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 98g
Calcium 89mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chicken stock is really very easy to make, and homemade stock is richer in flavor than purchased broth or stock. Add salt if you like or leave it unsalted to use in recipes. The stock freezes well, too.

Aside from soups and stews, chicken stock may be used in many dishes. Use chicken stock instead of water to cook rice and other grains. Stock makes a great braising liquid as well—use it to braise chicken, pork, or vegetables. You might also use it to make a delicious vegetable purée.


  • 6 to 7 pounds chicken wings (or other bony chicken parts such as the neck, back, legs, etc.)
  • 1 medium onion (quartered)
  • 1 carrot (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 2 ribs celery (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • Dash salt (or to taste)
  • For the Bouquet Garni
  • 5 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for basic chicken stock
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  2. Put the chicken in a large stockpot or Dutch oven with the onion, carrot, and celery. Add the cold water to the pot.

    Put the chicken in a large pot
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  3. In a bouquet garni bag, combine the parsley, peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaf.

    Tie thyme
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  4. Tie securely and add to the pot. (This enables you to quickly find the bouquet garni and retrieve it later.)

    Add bouquet garni
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  5. Bring the chicken mixture to a full boil, skimming off any scum which rises to the top.

    Bring chicken mixture to a boil
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  6. Reduce heat to low, partially cover the pot, and simmer for about 2 hours. Keep it at a simmer or gentle boil. If boiled, the stock will become cloudy. The stock should be slightly reduced and flavorful. 

    Put lid on pot
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  7. Strain the stock, pressing as much of the liquid out of the solids as possible.

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  8. Skim off fat or put in a fat separator. Alternatively, refrigerate the stock for a few hours. The fat will rise to the surface and harden, making it very easy to remove. Discard the fat and season the stock with salt, if desired. 

    Skim off fat
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  9. The stock may be boiled at this point if a more concentrated stock is desired.

  10. Ladle the stock into 1- or 2-cup wide-mouth canning jars or freezer containers, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace.

    Stock in a jar
    The Spruce
  11. Label with the date and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days or freeze for 3 to 4 months.


  • Keep a scrap bag in your freezer to use for stock. Add celery tops, onion skins, parsley stems, and the green ends of leeks. Fresh vegetables that might be a little past their prime might be great candidates for stock, too.
  • The stock can also be cooked, uncovered, in a 200 F oven for about 6 hours. Cooking the stock in the oven is a good option if your burners won't cooperate with the low simmer. A portable induction burner is a good option as well.
  • The stock will expand as it freezes, so if using glass jars it's especially important to leave plenty of headspace. Use a wide mouth jar and leave about 1 inch for headspace. To be safe, leave the tops resting on the jars until the stock is frozen, then screw them on, but not too tight.

What's the Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth?

Chicken stock and chicken broth are similar and can both be used interchangeably in recipes. The significant difference is in the preparation. Chicken stock is made with bones and some aromatic vegetables but might not contain seasoning. Broth, on the other hand, is the liquid in which chicken has been cooked, usually with vegetables and seasonings. A broth can be served as a stand-alone soup, while stock is used in other dishes.