How to Make Chicken Stock

Three tried and true methods for making GREAT homemade chicken stock. One method involves simmering a chicken carcass with vegetables. The other methods require sautéing chopped pieces of backs and wings first, before simmering with water and veggies.

  • Yield: About 2 to 3 quarts of stock


Method 1: Leftover Chicken Bones

  • Leftover bones and skin from a large cooked or raw chicken carcass (or two rotisserie chickens)
  • Celery tops and 1 large celery rib, cut into 2-inch segments
  • Onion, 1 large onion, quartered (no need to peel)
  • Carrot, cut into 2-inch segments
  • Parsley, 1 bunch
  • Salt
  • Pepper

1 Put the leftover bones and skin from a chicken carcass into a large stock pot. Add vegetables like celery, onion, carrots, parsley.

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Cover with water. Add salt and pepper, about a teaspoon of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper.


2 Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to barely a simmer. Simmer partially covered at least 4 hours, occasionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface.

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3 Remove the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon or spider ladle, and strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve.

4 If making stock for future use in soup you may want to reduce the stock by simmering an hour or two longer to make it more concentrated and easier to store.

Method 2: Chicken Stock with Raw Chicken Backs, Wings, and/or Legs

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 to 5 lbs of chicken backs, wings, and/or legs, skin-on, trimmed of excess fat, that have been hacked with a cleaver into 2-inch pieces (you can ask your butcher to prepare the chicken pieces this way)
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered (no need to peel)
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch segments
  • Celery tops and 1 large celery rib, cut into 2-inch segments
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • Leek or green onion greens (if you have them)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 quarts of cold water
  • 1 Tbsp salt

1 Coat the bottom of a large stock pot (12 quart), with olive oil. Place half of the chicken pieces, skin side down in the bottom of the pot. Heat on medium high, and let cook until the the chicken is browned. Add the rest of the chicken pieces and stir the pot, cooking and occasionally stirring until the chicken is no longer pink.

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2 Add the onion, carrot, celery, parsley, leek greens (if using), and bay leaf to the pot. Cover with 6 quarts of cold water.

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3 Bring to a boil on high heat and reduce to a low simmer. If scum rises to the surface of the pot (this usually happens in the first half hour of cooking), skim off with a large metal spoon. Let simmer at a low simmer, uncovered, for 4 to 6 hours.

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4 Use a large metal spoons with holes in it (or a "spider ladle") to ladle out the cooked chicken and vegetables. (These aren't really good to eat, by the way, because after 4 hours of cooking, all of the nutritional value has been cooked out of them.) Discard.

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5 Use a large sieve lined with dampened cheesecloth or a dampened paper towel (or if using a very fine mesh sieve no need to line), and place over a large bowl or another large pot. Pour the stock through the sieve into the bowl or pot to strain out any remaining solids.

6 Either pour into jars at this point, or if you want, what we like to do is to boil the stock on high heat for 1 hour, to reduce it by about half. This way you are storing concentrated stock, which takes less room in the freezer or refrigerator. When you are ready, pour into jars.


If you are freezing, you may want to ladle off some of the excess fat on the surface. (The fat helps preserve the stock in the fridge, but doesn't help it in the freezer.) If freezing, leave at least 1-inch head space, allowing enough room for the liquid stock to expand as it freezes solid. (Otherwise, the expanding ice stock will break the jar.)

Let the stock cool in the sealed jars completely before freezing. Stock should last a week or so in the fridge, and several months in the freezer.

Method 3: Quick Chicken Stock

  • 4 lbs of chicken backs, wings, and/or legs that have been hacked with a cleaver into 2-inch pieces. You can ask your butcher to prepare the chicken pieces this way.
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2 quarts of boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 bay leaves

1 Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large stock pot. Add one chopped onion. Sauté until softened and slightly colored - 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.


2 Add half of the chicken pieces to the pot. Sauté until no longer pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken to bowl with onions. Sauté the rest of the chicken the same way. Return onion and chicken pieces to the pot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes.

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3 While the chicken pieces are cooking, fill a large tea kettle with 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil.

4 After the chicken pieces have been cooking for 20 minutes, raise the heat level to high, add the 2 quarts of boiling water, 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 bay leaves. Return to a low simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, then cover and barely simmer for about 20 minutes.

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5 Strain stock through cheesecloth or paper towel-lined large sieve, and discard solids. (It helps to remove the big pieces of bone with a slotted spoon first.)

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Pour into jars and let cool, before putting into the refrigerator. Stock will last a week or so in the refrigerator or frozen for several months.

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  • Evelyn

    The recipe looks easy enough but I haven’t tried it yet, however I have a question that I cannot find an answer to.
    Can I just get the raw bones from our butcher so I can make large batches to can? Or do I have to use chicken bones with meat still attached? This way I can add chicken and vegetables later maybe? I want to make sure I’m not going to make anyone sick!

    • Carrie Havranek

      Hi Evelyn! Thanks for your comment. You can certainly make stock with just bones and water, but it won’t taste as good, as you likely know. Typically, I make stock, leave some out for use within a week, and freeze any stock I am not going to use within that time frame. In order to preserve this stock for longer, you could freeze it, but you asked about canning: you would need to pressure can the stock, which isn’t outlined here. However, if you are interested in alternate methods of making stock, we’ve got a great recipe for doing stock in a pressure cooker. Perhaps this will inspire you! Let us know how it goes!

  • Paul B

    Tried method 1. Amazing!


  • Jason H

    Awesome tips for home made chicken stock.

  • Judy

    Can you do this in a slowcooker

  • Emily

    This only made a half cup of stock! It reduced way too much. Is that normal? The ingredients cost me $20 (generic, cheapest brands), so I get that this is healthier, but $20 for a half a cup of chicken stock?? I’ll just buy store bought from now on :(

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Emily, sounds like you simmered at too high of a heat and too much of the liquid evaporated. If you start with 6 quarts of water, you should end up with at least 2 quarts of stock.

      Also, stock is something you make mostly with leftover ingredients or cheap ingredients, like a chicken carcass or backs and wings. It shouldn’t cost $20 to make a batch of stock. What I do is save leftover chicken carcasses and things like leek greens and celery tops in the freezer, and when I have enough, pull them out for stock. Or I buy backs and wings which shouldn’t be expensive.

  • Richard

    Some points by someone who has made a **lot** of stock:

    1. Don’t add salt. It doesn’t help the stock making process and can lead to over-salted dishes
    2. Use whole peppercorns not ground pepper
    3. Herbs should be a bouquet garnis (bay, parsley stems, thyme and rosemary) for western cookery or ginger, garlic, mushrooms and star anise for Chinese food
    4. Strain through a muslin and then clarify by adding a couple of egg whites and shells to the stock. Then strain through a sieve and a muslin again to get a really clear stock that is free from bitter flavours

  • Kat

    Could you use part cooked and part raw chicken? Or all one or the other?

  • Dana

    Dear Elise,
    Why, when using method #1, do you simmer partially covered, but in method #2, covered?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Dana, you can simmer uncovered, partially covered, or covered. It sort of depends on how much liquid you have in the pot and how long you intend to simmer the stock. An uncovered pot will lose more water to evaporation as it simmers.

  • Gayla

    I remove the veggies and purée them and add them back to stock, makes a richer flavor

  • Benji

    Why u guys put “Cover with water. Add salt and pepper, about a teaspoon of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper.” isn’t seasoning the last part??

    And i usually dun season the stock 1st … later u continue to make it thicker and concentrated it will be more and more savory …

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Benji, it’s only a teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. It doesn’t matter if you put it in at the beginning or the end. You’ll still have a very lightly salted stock, even when you boil the stock down to concentrate it. You’ll still need to add more salt to it to use it for a recipe.

  • Teri

    I usually drop half a lemon in would that replace the vinegar?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Teri! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. Yes, I think a half a lemon sounds like a great addition and would work fine in place of the vinegar. Enjoy!

      • Teri

        Thanks, Emma! We love the lemon in chicken broth. I even tuck one into the cavity of my roasting chicken along with the veggies and herbs before popping it into the oven. Sometimes I roll it and pierce it all over and other times I cut it in half, depending on the size of the chicken.

        Simply Recipes is always my “go to” site and I love Elise’s recipes.

  • Cindy

    When I dont’ have time to deal with veggies, I just throw a pack of wings in a pot, cover with water, boil and let it simmer for 4 hours. It has a richer chicken taste to me than when cooking with the veggies and I can always add the flavor I need when making soup. What do you think of clarifying the stock with egg whites? I did this and although the broth is clearer, it changed the taste a bit. Any input from chefs out there?


  • Amy

    Hi! I never have a problem getting a gel, but the one thing I have had a complaint about is the color. For pork and beef broth, brown is fine, but I have gotten quite an earful from my father anytime he sees my chicken bone broth. Personally, I cannot take hearing another complaint about brown food which I have been trying to improve on. I will admit though it is always a brown or dark color. I have not been roasting my chicken carcass or bones. I usually pile the bones, leftover bits of meat and skin in the crockpot, pour over a ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, fill the pot with onion skins, carrot and celery peelings, season with a few springs of bay leaves, ginger, fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley, and top it with water. I usually cook the mixture on low for 12-14 hours, since I was told that is an appropriate amount of time for it to develop flavor and be more nutritious. I know it is just an aesthetic flaw, but do you have any suggestions on what I can do to help make the chicken broth more golden but still nutritious? Do I need to try doing this on the stove? Do I need to add the veg and spices later? Any advice or suggestions are welcomed! Thanks so much!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Amy, my guess is that it is the onion skins that are helping to turn your stock a dark color. You also might try one of the stove top approaches I’ve outlined in this article above. You do not need to cook chicken stock for 12 hours. 4 hours at a low simmer is fine. I do understand the reasoning behind adding vinegar (helps to leach the calcium out of the bones) but a half cup to me sounds excessive.

    • Heidi

      If you’re using yellow onions, it’s definitey the skins making the broth brown. I’ve boiled onions skins in water for a natural hair colorant, so it definitely colors the broth. Try leaving out the skins or using white onions.

  • chris

    I roast chicken backs and parts or use leftover chicken or turkey bones then use a electric instapot style pressure cooker set on chicken/ high temp for an hour then let it naturally depressurize let cool then refrigerate overnight take the grease layer off following day as it will congel on top its easy to remove then warm it back up to liquify and put it into ice cube trays mix 17 ice cubes (1 cup) too 1 or 2 cups water depending on strength you want the best stock on earth

  • Patti

    2 tips. Use your spaghetti pot with the insert. Makes for a quick first strain of the solids. Second, freeze your stock in ice cube trays. So easy to add to recipes. Any tomato based sauce gets so much richer with a couple cubes of stock.

  • Danielle

    So everywhere I’m reading says homemade chicken stock only stays fresh in the fridge for days – maybe a week. I made chicken stock and stored it in the fridge in multiple airtight mason jars and it kept fresh in the fridge for MONTHS. There was no sour smell to it even after 3-4 months – it smelled just as good as when I first jarred it. And we used it in dishes, consumed it, and did not get sick.

    Has anyone else stored theirs in the fridge for just as long?

    • Rita

      I also store my homemade chicken stock in the frig with about an inch layer of fat on top in a sealed mason jar. It lasts for SEVERAL months this way. I usually use a 10 lb. Bag of frozen hindquarters because I make homemade dog food. That provides me with a lot of fat to top off the jars.

      • Alex

        If the jars are airtight and/or sealed by a layer of fat, they should store in any reasonably cool, dark place for at least six months. There’s really no need for refrigeration until they’re opened. I think the guideline you’re referencing is for an opened or uncovered container.

        I use the same 10 pound bag of hindquarters. In fact, I’m making stock with some today.

      • DJ Roberts

        What is your dog food recipe?

  • Debby

    I’m new to using chicken stock for various recipes,so at first I bought chicken stock off the shelf. The price was more than a can of good soup, so I followed your recipe(s). I can make 2-4 quarts at a fraction of the cost of the store-bought chicken stock. I always freeze in canning jars. It only takes a 3-5 min in the microwave to thaw.

  • Gary

    One should never add salt to a stock weather it be chicken or beef. The reduction prosses increases the salt content. Also you don’t always know what you will be using the stock for and if it will be needing salt in the dish latter or not. One of the desirable things about making stock over purchasing stock for either home or restaurant is to have no sodium in the stock making it more versatile. Always add salt at the end of your final product.

    • Debby

      Good advice about the salt. I agree now that you mention it. I don’t see any reason to add salt until the broth is used in a recipe.

    • Theresa Finnigan

      I totally agree about not adding the salt to the stock. Even if I’m buying stock I buy the unsalted kind.

  • Alison Bermack

    I always make homemade chicken stock! The skin and bones of a roast chicken makes a rich stock in half the time than raw chicken! Also I save any veggie scraps (leeks, onion skins, carrot peels etc.) in a bag until it’s full and make veggie stock too!

  • alex

    normally when i roast a whole chicken, i stuff the chicken with half a lemon, onion, and several cloves of garlic. After roasting and taking off all the usable meat, I take all of these and include them in the stock pot. The half of lemon, after it has been inside the roasted chicken, add a little something special to the chicken stock.

    • lilia

      I would caution against including lemon or other citrus in the stock! I once did exactly what Alex described and the lemon rind imparted a very bitter flavor to the stock. If you want a lemon flavor, you can add lemon juice, as in Avgolemono soup. Just don’t include the rind!

  • Rosa

    Thank you for sharing recipe, I finished stock and tried to mix it with noodle, very delicious for dinner

  • Phil

    What can I add to the finished stock to make nice gravy ?

    • Debby

      Melt 2-4 tbsp butter in a pan and then add about 1/4 – 1/2 cup flour. Stir as it becomes pasty. Add 2 cups chicken broth while stirring constantly. I start with 1/4 cup flour and add more after I add the broth to get the consistency that I want. Good luck.

  • Mark

    For me, chicken broth, vegetable broth and potato water are secret weapons that are always stashed away in the fridge or freezer.

    Here’s a quick recipe you need no recipe for. It’s easy to remember.

    1 cup water
    1 cup chicken broth
    1 cup rice
    Salt to taste

    That’s a great side dish by itself but you can also let your creative juices flow by adding chopped green onions, mushrooms or whatever. I like short grain sushi rice but will also sometimes endure texmati’s 45 minute cooking time.

    For Asian cooking, use short grain rice, not the American long grain, and always put the rice on the side. Never put your entrée on top of the rice.

    If you need to “wake up” leftover rice, chicken broth is great for adding a little extra moisture.

  • Mark

    I usually cook two brined roasters at a time. You can sometimes find them up to 9 pounds! I bake them in the oven as normal and remove all the usable meat. Everything else goes back into the same roasting pan, skin, bones, fat and other scrap meat. I fill the roaster with water, bring to a boil and then reduce to a slow simmer. Let that play out for several hours. Add salt, if you like, later. Don’t get the salt “just right” when you start. As the broth reduces, the salt will become more concentrated. Also add pepper, if you like, at the end. The long simmer will take a lot of the edge off the pepper. You may have noticed that a lot of chefs use a 2 to 1 ratio of salt to pepper. The real rule is taste, taste, taste. Taste as you go so you know if things are going off track.

    You can add a mirepoix as stated in the recipe but you can make plain broth and add the mirepoix when you go to use the broth. You might not want that flavor. It depends on what you will use the broth for.

    Mirepoix is 50% onion, 25% carrot and 25% celery along with a spice sachet…whatever spices you wish to include.

    At the end of the simmer, strain out all the bones and other “stuff” so you end up with a more or less clear broth. The simmer can be a couple hours or several.

    Now you can add salt if you want to. If you used brined chickens, you may already notice salt without adding any extra. Taste first, add a little salt, taste again.

    I divvy the broth out to quart size freezer containers. The broth will expand a little in the freezer and may push the cap off. When the broth if cold or frozen, it’s easy to lift off the fat layer, if you so desire. Saturated fat, the bad kind, turns opaque when cold.

  • Marjorie McCauley

    Is this stock something I could can using a hot wate bath?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Marjorie, you mean to make it shelf stable outside of refrigeration or freezing? No. If you want to can the stock you’ll need to use a pressure canner. The stock is “low acid” so must be canned with pressure to reach the temperature needed to kill the bacteria that could live in low acid foods.

      • Mark

        Absolutely correct. For low acid foods you need to use a pressure canner. Some bacteria require a higher temperature to kill them…like E.Coli, Staphylococcus and botulina. It’s often not enough to kill just the bacteria as many bacteria leave toxins behind. I have canned chicken broth using a pressure canner and then kept the broth in the fridge just to be extra safe. The broth was still good at one year but I started to get nervous and tossed it. I don’t really know how long it would actually last.

        • Mark

          Another canner’s trick is to add citric acid, The extra acidity retards bacterial growth. You can also use citric acid for homemade ricotta. It replaces the usual lemon juice and you don’t add any lemon flavor to the cheese. For that same reason I also skip the vinegar.
          Ball sells citric acid but it has an extra ingredient, silicone dioxide. Looks like it’s an anti-caking agent. Most of the other ones are just citric acid, no additives.
          By the way, if you’re not squeamish, break up the big bones so you take advantage of the marrow.
          I have some really nice stainless steel Wusthof chicken sheers. Trouble is when you get chicken fat on your hands the sheers are impossible to handle*. Some time ago I had bought a pair of pruning sheers. Then I found a pair I liked better and never used the originals. They were brand new and never used but I found they worked well for cutting up the bones. They survive the dishwasher well also. You’d be surprised how many things at the hardware store can be dual-purposed for cooking.
          * A long time ago I heard somebody suggest using a wet hand/ dry hand technique. For chicken you would use one hand to handle the chicken, the wet hand. The other hand would remain dry and would be used for the sheers or your knife. In practice, I don’t think it’s all that practical. I think it was Sara Moulton that came up with that but I really don’t remember. So much of this stuff gets passed along and it’s hard to know who really comes up with these things.

          • Audrey

            When I make chicken or turkey stock, I add a small amount of white vinegar to the water depending on the size of the chicken. It could be 1/4 cup or 2 or 3 tablespoons. I understand this helps bring out the calcium from the bones. The stock gets jelly- like when cold, but when heated is back to normal stock.

          • ann

            Yes, citric acid is the way to go plus it helps to extract collagen.

  • Christy W

    Other recipes for chicken stock contain apple cider vinegar. Yours is the first that does not (for which I’m thankful because my daughter can’t have vinegar). The vinegar isn’t necessary?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Christy, I think years ago Adele Davis suggested using a little vinegar when you make stock to help leach calcium out of the chicken bones. I haven’t seen references to this method lately though and all the years I’ve made stock I have yet to add any vinegar to the process.

  • Jenn

    what do you do with the meat and veggies? Since they are strained, do you throw them out?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jenn, after simmering the meat and vegetables for several hours, there is no nutritional value left in them (all of the goodness has gone into the stock), so yes, you throw them out.

      • Jenn

        Thank you for the reply. Veggies loosing their nutritional value after several hours of cooking makes sense. Thanks for the post and helping us to get back to the basics! :)

    • connie olson

      I always pick all the usable meat off and make a chicken spend for crackers using onions and celery or whatever.

  • roy

    I read somewhere that the chicken fat on the top is schmaltz and can be used to fry potatoes, etc. Somewhat like what duck fat is used for frying, as seems to be the rage on foodie tv shows nowadays.

  • Starlynn

    Thanks for your reply Elise, sorry I was not clear. I did read about the protective barrier of fat and just took it literally that that is all that fat is to be used for! For all I know that fat might be rancid from prolonged boiling….not that that happens, but my mind goes places because I am not a confident cook and I don’t want to do anything wrong! Thank you for the clarification:)

    • Mark

      Hi Starlynn,
      When you are making your borth/gravy bring it up to a slow simmer, not a raging boil. I don’t think you have to worry about it going rancid.
      You can eat, or not eat the fat. Flavor versus health. I usually freeze the broth in sealed containers so having a fat seal is not important. The fat does act like a sealer but you can always strip it off the top before using. It takes a little work if it’s hard frozen but fairly easy once thawed.

      If you just put the broth in the fridge, you don’t want to keep it all that long. Either freeze it or can it. Even when I pressure can chicken broth I still keep it in the fridge.

  • Starlynn

    Hello, sorry if this seems like a dumb question! You mentioned the braising method “yielding chicken fat that can be used in other recipes”…I boiled a carcass to make the stock, is the fat in this stock not to be eaten? Or did you recommend the braised fat because it tastes better?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Starlynn, I’m not sure what you mean by your question. If you boil a carcass to make stock, fat will be released and will bubble up to the top. You can use that for cooking too if you want. We usually keep the fat on the stock when we refrigerate it because the fat helps create a protective barrier between the stock and microbes in the air.

  • Philip Gannon

    Three or four chicken frames fit in the pressure cooker. Half an hour on low gives stock and the residual meat comes off easily with a fork. Cool and freezer for 30-40 mins peel off fat and start thinking of chicken recipes.

  • Tabitha

    My go-to instructions for stock. I have made both methods 1 & 2. Both are great if not BETTER tasting than Swanson or generic store bought! I followed the instructions, did not alter a thing, very pleased with the outcome.

  • Philip Gannon

    Recipes all generally fine, but a pressure cooker speeds up process. The main thing pressure prevents is volume reduction – open top vessel needed. For a quick soup pressure cook.

  • DJ

    I just did this last night. Bought a frying chicken and used the wings and body to make the stock. Today, we are having oven fried chicken with a spinach cream soup made from my stock that will not be frozen. So simple and so yummy!

  • Peggy

    My parents always try to mix different types of bones or meat for stock. It makes for a more rounded flavour or something on the lines of that. They use a mix of pork and chicken usually.

  • Mary

    Silly question I know.. May I mix turkey and chicken carcasses together to make the stock?

    Yes. ~Elise

  • Big Boy

    Actually stock is simple, 80% bones 20% mirepoix and 100% cold water. To make beef stock or brown stock smear the bones with tomatoe paste first then roast in very hot oven until browned. The tomatoe helps them brown. Another thing I do is called rewetting. This is simply reusing the old bones later for even more flavor.

  • Chris K

    Love this. I always par boil my chicken before it goes on the grill. I’m never quite sure what to do with the leftover stock. This answered my question, including how to keep the stock fresh for a few weeks. Thanks a million for these tips.

  • sam

    thanks for the help here… my girl is a begginer to cooking and i am trying to help her learn to make more flavorful foods. I knew the basic idea of making a chicken stock, but having some specific guidelines helps a lot… anyway, this should add some much needed zip to her basic noodle mix… she’s been mixing rice noodles, fried egg, sauted onion and woodear mushroom–but the noodles and mushroom just taste water logged, this should help her a lot; as well with a little cornstarch and basic spices i think we can turn it into a nice sauce for other chinese dishes!

  • Savanna

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I am planning on storing the stock in 1 cup freezer jam containers. Walmart has them for $3/5 cups. I wonder if they will thaw with the fatty layer intact on top.

  • Jenn

    I usually start my stock one afternoon, turn the heat off and cover it overnight, then continue simmering the next day. I just save my food scraps (onion tops, celery tops, carrot tops, any veggies that are about to go bad) in the freezer and simmer the whole lot, and the results are delicious! I can’t believe I used to make soup with that powdered bouillon, yuck!

    One question- most recipes say to occasionally skim the foam (not the fat, but the foam) off the top. Why? What is that foam? It’s been bugging me for a while, hope you can help. :-)

    According to a Culinary Institute of America site, “The foam that rises to the top of your stock comes from fat and impurities from the meat that chefs refer to as soluble cell proteins.” The foam is perfectly edible, but will cloud your stock, so it is recommended that it is removed. ~Elise

  • Dawn

    If I use raw chicken legs do I have to drain water or just add all my veg to the water I boiled the chicken in?

    Just add the vegetable to the water with the chicken bones. ~Elise

  • RadiantLux

    Anything that encourages stock making is wonderful! It is such a healthy, delicious and frugal food. I read many years ago that a little bit of vinegar or lemon juice is important for drawing out the minerals from the bones. I mentioned that to my mother. She replied that HER mother had always done that but she never knew why.
    Chicken feet make awesome broth because of the gelatin. Broth has been used traditionally for healing. Gelatin is one of the components that is key to healing. It is very nourishing and easily digested. It will give you beautiful fingernails as well. ;)
    I simmer the bones in my crockpot for 2 days. I find it tastes better when I don’t use vegetables. Maybe I could use vegtables if they were simmered for less time. I’ll have to try adding them on 2nd day. I know it is done when I can squish the bones with my fingers. After I strain it, it becomes dog food. He loves it!

  • Penny

    I have been making stock using Method 1 with leftover roasted chicken bones and love it, but decided to try Method 2 because I didn’t feel like roasting a chicken, and it was great. Rich golden stock and I’ll never buy another bullion cube again!

    At the natural foods market 4 pounds of backs and bones cost less than a dollar a pound. Quite a difference from when I bought oxtails for the first time, lol!

    There is a specialty store in town that sells organic chicken broth for $13 dollars a quart (thirteen!) – I’m thrilled that I can make my own for $2 a quart.

  • Theresa

    Regarding the comment by masterpikey in Oct 2007,”… the stock can be reduced down till almost all the water is gone. Once this is done it can be poured into ice trays and frozen. Each cube will make almost a pint of stock when added to boiling water,…”
    What is left when you reduced most of the water? What will I be looking for?

    It may have a melted jello-like consistency, depending on how much gelatin was rendered out of the bones. Mostly it will concentrate the flavors so you can just dilute it with water. If you tasted it, it would be strongly flavored. ~Elise

  • Joanne

    I use boiled chicken in a number of dishes. A lot of times the broth is not need. I put it in the refrigerator, but often do not use it right away and wind up throwing it away. Can I can the left over broth as is? If so, what is the procedure. Thanks.

    Yes, you can use the leftover broth from boiling chicken. You may want to boil it down further to make it easier to store. ~Elise

  • Stacey

    I have very gelatinous turkey stock (made using a slow cooker overnight). I then used the stock to make turkey soup that night. The soup was very rich (good, I thought), but too rich for my young kids who are used to store-bought broth. How do I make it more palatable for my kids? Thanks.

    Just dilute it with water. ~Elise

  • Da food

    Very helpful. My wife and kids love the soup that I make from this. Thanks!

  • Corey

    This stock came out wonderful. I really got tired of spending money on broth when I could make my own much cheaper. I used legs and then used the meat for pulled bbq sandwiches and enchiladas. :)

  • Derek

    I have a recipe which uses chicken stock and chicken juice. May I know what’s the difference?

    I’ve never heard of chicken juice. Sounds like something got translated and the translation was a little screwy. ~Elise

  • alice brandon hudages

    Hi, I’m Alice. I have three children and a husband. We all loved your chicken stock. It is so easy to cook and it is really yum to eat. We would just like to post this to say thank you for putting a smile on our faces. 2nd july 2010.

    You are very welcome Alice! ~Elise

  • Susan

    Last night I made chicken stock from the skin and bones from two rotisserie chickens (a staple here in Germany). I put the hot liquid in a bowl to cool, and then refrigerated it overnight. After work today, I took the lid off, and found I have a gelatinous stock, without using the chicken feet method. Anyone know why?

    There is gelatin in all of the bones, not just the chicken feet. There is more gelatin in the feet though, so it is easier to get gelatin if you have feet. ~Elise

    • Becky Lindroos

      I almost always use rotisserie chicken bones – then after it’s cooked I put it in jars and have it for all the goodies. And I also have the flesh I cut off the bones.

      The reason is that you got the marrow of the bones which is what makes it gelatinous.

  • Kara

    Re. feeding your dog the leftover chicken bones and vegetables – it is safest to never feed your dog cooked chicken bones. Raw bones are ok, and perhaps if the bones have been boiled for so long that they are crumbly, it may be ok, but know the risk. Also, onions are POISONOUS to dogs. It causes severe anemia, and they could die.

    Chicken bones are bad for dogs because they splinter. Cooked chicken, pulled off the bones for making stock, shouldn’t be a problem. Good to know about the onions, thank you! ~Elise

  • Melinda G

    I have a super frugal question – is there any use for the vegetables and meat that is left over from making the stock – assuming that I’m not putting them into the soup? Thanks in advance!

    You can use them to feed a dog or cat (that’s what we do). Or, you can pull the meat from the bones after it has cooked through (about 30 minutes) and use them for a different dish. ~Elise

    • Mark

      A composter is another option. Goats or pigs would gobble it up. With black bears in the area, I dare not put this stuff outdoors. They can smell food up to 2 miles away. Fortunately for me, my state’s number one product is garbage so we have plenty of dumpsters to keep the bears, raccoons and rats occupied. If it’s cold enough, I will put brining turkeys and chickens out on the balcony.

  • Dawn

    A tip for method 1…to really get the most flavor out of the chicken bones, try soaking them in cold water overnight. Then, put that water and the bones into the pot to use as part the stock.

  • Alison

    Catherine, I just made a batch of chicken stock in my slow cooker for the first time last week. It let it cook much longer than I would on the stove (about 18 hours–first hour on high, the rest on low) and it turned out delicious. I actually think if I’d let it go up to 24 hours it would have been even better.

    I reduced it and froze in ice cube trays, and I’m now waiting for cooler weather so I can make some yummy yummy chicken soup…mmmm….

  • Catherine

    You can be more frugal with the vegetables by saving and using your vegetable trimmings, parings and peelings. For example use the tops, banged up outer stalks and ends of celery, the peels, papery skins and first layer but not the root end of onions, the carrot peels, ends and all as well as any vegetables that start to go floppy but not spoiled entirely. These are adding flavor and their texture will not be an issue so you do want to use them in your stock. You can even use onions that have started to sprout as long as you take out all the green bits. Oh, the onion skins add a lovely golden color to the stock.

    I always end up with more parsley than I can use, so into the bag it goes as well. Collect them them in bags in the freezer as the months go by. In another bag, save up your chicken parts and bones and in yet another your beef trimmings and bones. Ask at the meat counter or butcher’s for their trimmings and ends and bones. Everything goes directly into the freezer bags after a good rinse or scrubbing.

    Then you pick a good day to hang around the house and get going.

    On that note, has anyone tried using a crock pot for the long slow cooking process? Is the heat low enough and constant enough for successfull stock making? It seems to me that it ought to be a good way to get a low, slow, constant heat without heating up the whole kitchen. I’m a little leary of deviating from success but, the thought of making stock during the summer months, rather than waiting for fall and cool weather plus the safety and efficiency factor of not having the range burning all day long is really appealing to me.

  • Leesa

    A word of caution for making chicken stock.
    When transfering hot chicken stock to containers, plastic or otherwise, be careful that it doesnt get splashed on the floor or on the outside of containers.
    CHICKEN STOCK CAN BE SLIPPERY and result in a wipe out in the kitchen.
    I once was carrying a big container of it and it slipped right out of my hands and all over the floor…
    Same as when it is in the fridge, it can slip right out of your hands and make a huge mess in the fridge.
    When wiping using a cloth, make sure you do not use it again, as trace fatty deposits can be transfered and create a disaster.

  • Cherie

    I have several questions about this recipe. For method one you use the bones of an already roasted chicken? Because taking the meat off the bones of an uncooked chicken sounds very time consuming.
    In method 2 the meat is just thrown away? Is it possible to cook just until the meat comes off easily then remove the meat from the bones to be used in a soup or other recipe?

    For method one, yes you do use the bones of an already roasted chicken. For method two, yes the meat is just discarded. But if you want, as soon as the meat is cooked through, you can remove it from the bones. I usually use this method with chicken backs, not much meat there to work with. ~Elise

    • Linda

      I just cut up a chicken for the grill and used method 2 for the back and wing tips. I used a small handful of coarsely chopped onion, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 bay leaf, and 1 quart of water and it turned out great. I’ll be using to make yellow rice to go with that chicken.

      • Linda

        Forgot to add that I pulled the meat off the bones and it came to 3/4 cup to freeze and use later in something else.

  • Mitchell Webster

    Good Morning Elise,

    Kathy above in the comments had told about purchasing Split Chicken Breasts and deboning them herself, I always do that believe it or not you can actually get the split breasts on sale for as little as 99 cent/lb. and it is a win/win.
    I de-bone the breast, remove the skin and put with the bones. I usually can or freeze the breast.
    Then I take the bones and skin, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until golden brown (as described under the beef stock recipe) Then take that and place in the stock pot with water to cover, and proceed as you discribed adding vegetable and simmering for a long long time.

    I also, will add here, that there used to be a French Woman on TV, that said to Always save your Brown Onion Skins, in an airtight container, then when you have a rather anemic looking broth, you just cook a hand full of the onion skins in the broth, and you come out with a beautiful amber colored stock, she was right and have done this for the last 15 years.
    Your site is wonderful, I just love it.

  • dana

    Personally you can’t measure chicken stock. It is a throw in recipe. I put in onion, carrots, celery, dill, parsley, chicken and let it cook. I drain off the fat. Sometimes I leave the chicken in. Greenfields noodles are the best with chicken soup. It is the true jewish chicken soup for the cold. 3 generations down. It has not failed and my kids love it. You can try matzo ball with it too.

  • susan

    I’d like to suggest that you investigate using a pressure cooker. Your leftover bones method, using a pressure cooker, gives you stock in 30 minutes rather than 4 hours. It is a great device for any moist heat recipe such as beef stew, bean soups, etc. Lets you make whole grains–brown rice, wheatberries, etc. in a much shorter period of time. Risottos–are perfect, with no stirring, in a third of the time. If you like risotto, it’s worth buying a cooker for that reason alone. You’d think I work for a pressure-cooker company, but I don’t. I have two of the Kuhn-Rikon models, and these tools allow me to pull together scratch meals in a fraction of the time–the Lorna Sass book, Cooking Under Pressure, is a great resource.

    Pressure cookers are great when you’re in a hurry. We use ours all the time for cooking pinto beans or black beans. When it comes to stock, we are usually filling up a pot more with bones than our pressure cooker can hold, and stock cooking lends itself well to low, gentle heat, a bare simmer, which is easier to control if it is on the stove and you can check it easily. ~Elise

  • chris

    I’m assuming the same would apply to the oven then even at a low heat? Was considering using one of our cast iron casserole pots to make it in.

    I’ve left an electric oven on all night, on very very low heat (150°F), but we were in the house. I wouldn’t do the same with a gas oven. I have at times left the house with something in the oven, but never for more than an hour or two. ~Elise

  • Chris

    Hi there, a quick question about the first recipe. I recently did a roast chicken to feed myself at work etc for cheap, and am going to make stock with the leftover bones etc. My question is, because I’m at work from 10 in the morning to 10 at night, I don’t really have time to spend 4 hours doing this. I was wondering if it was fine to leave it on a lower heat for longer whilst I’m at work? Admittedly I won’t be able to spoon the stuff off the surface while I’m away.

    Hello Chris, Leaving the house with the stove on and nobody to watch it is dangerous. You might want to invest in a slow cooker and make the stock in that while you are away. ~Elise

  • kathy

    A while back, I purchased chicken breasts with rib and skin, then removed bone/skin at home for inexpensive boneless/skinless chicken breasts. My method of removal was quick and left enough meat on bones to make it useful for another recipe….but for what I did not know, so I froze it. After reading about chicken stock, this seemed like the perfect use! I now have this simmering in a pot for some chicken stock, with plenty of attached meat for the soup recipe to follow. I love skinless boneless chicken, but hate paying the price for it. Now I buy with bones/skin and make my own at home, without wasting the bones!

    Music to a scratch cook’s ears. :-) ~Elise

  • Sherri

    Thanks for your recipe. I have severe allergies to the spices and onion and MSG that is in store-bought stock and soups, so it’s VERY nice to now be able to make my own soups.

    Quick chicken-noodle recipe that I use:

    I prepare my chicken broth ahead of time (the above recipes work great- I just leave out the onion and bay leaves).

    -I pre-cook my noodles till soft by not soggy.
    -Mix 3 parts broth to 1 part water in a small pot. Skim off fat from the broth.
    -Add salt to your preference. Usually a lot for me to add flavour.
    -Add some shredded chicken (from what I used to make the broth- usually chicken breasts w/ bone and skin)
    -Add some finely shredded carrots and celery. Other veggies as you prefer.
    -Simmer on stove till all ingredients are warm and carrot shreds are soft.
    -Let cool a bit and serve!

    You can even make this in a bowl in the microwave if you keep stock/noodles/cooked chicken in the fridge or freezer. You can also use rice instead of noodles.

  • Andrea

    The first method was great. Helped stretch a chicken to make 2 meals! Thanks ;)

  • luv2cook

    I have made chicken stock before, but the first method is intriguing, with the vegetables. At the risk of sounding too frugal, are there any suggestions on things to use the vegetables in additional recipes or do they cook too long? I love to cook, but I hate to waste!

    If you are being frugal, put the carrots and celery in only for the last hour of cooking. Make sure that they are big pieces so you can easily fish them out. As soon as they are cooked through, remove them. If you are making chicken soup, you can cut up the veggies and return them to the soup after you have strained the stock. ~Elise

  • masterpikey

    Instead ot just sauting the bones and onions, try roasting all the bones and vegtables in the oven 1st till everything is a golden brown. This will result in a slightly darker stock, but will also be richer in flavour. And I respectfully have to disagree strongly with you on one point, skimming is essential for not only removing impurities, but the skimming of the fat from stock will ensure that you end up with a stock that is clear and not cloudy.

    Oh another thing, once finished, the stock can be reduced down till almost all the water is gone. Once this is done it can be poured into ice trays and frozen. Each cube will make almost a pint of stock when aded to boiling water, you’ll never have to use those freeze dried stock cubes from the store again.

    I recently tried an experiment – made clear stock and made cloudy stock. The result? They both tasted the same. I honestly think way too much emphasis is put on having a clear stock. It really depends on what you are using the stock for. We use stock a lot for making Spanish rice, so it makes no difference if it is cloudy or clear. ~Elise

  • mark

    I don’t know if its broth or stock, but i simply boil a chicken utill cooked (30 mins)remove the meat when cooled,return all body parts(bones, skin,gizzards)back to the pot and boil another 4 hours, adding water if needed.strain and skim.done. the boiled chicken meat can be reserved,or add to the broth with some veggies for soup. never add salt to the boiling water as it will become more intense as the liquid reduces.

  • halimah

    Thank you so much. I made my stock using the second method and it’s great. Now I can prepare great noodle soup and even coconut rice (nasi lemak).

  • Christine

    Thanks so much for the veggie stock recipe too. Hubby doesn’t like soup but mostly chicken soup so I have been trying to find a way to make a meatless broth.

  • Casey

    I boiled 3 chicken legs to cook them through…can I use the water I boiled them in as stock?

  • A Non Mouse.

    Actually, the difference between broth and stock is the amount of flesh to bone used and more importantly the resulting gelatin content. Stocks have more bones than flesh and vice versa with broths. For example to make a broth you’d generally use a whole stewing hen in place of an equivalent weight of bones/feet. Stocks are also ‘simmered’ longer (at least 6-8 hours) to fully extract the gelatin from the bones which then can be reduced and used for a demi-glace for instance. Broths can be used for this, but it’s not as effective as they contain less gelatin. As a personal choice I never add salt until I know what I’ll use the stock for. Though everyone has their method.

    Wonderful recipes found here, regards.

  • StockMaster

    What’s the difference between stock and broth???

    Salt – Stock has no salt so actually what you have is a broth recipe but it’s a good recipe if you really want stock just exclude the salt then add it later like most European Style Chefs do. Also a neat little trick so it lasts longer is reduce stock by half and freeze your stock in ice cubes and take out only what you need it will last for a month rather than a week…

  • Carol-Ann Pilson

    I have just boned 3kilos of chicken thighs, and made your method 1 chicken stock out of the bones, do you have a chicken soup recipe I can use it with? maybe a chicken noodle soup my kids love it!!

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Clotilde, making chicken stock is pretty easy, especially via the braising method, as it doesn’t take so long. Also with this method there is no scum/foam to skim off. And it tastes so good! It also yields chicken fat that can be used in other recipes.