Homemade chicken stock is a flavorful and nutrient-dense liquid (some might even say it’s liquid gold) that is the perfect base for soups, stews, and sauces. Simmered long enough to extract all of the nutrients, this stock becomes a delicious broth perfect for sipping on its own. Made with just a handful of ingredients, this easy recipe is something you want to keep on hand to take you through the cooler months!
Using leftover herb-roasted chicken adds plenty of amazing flavor to this broth and is a great way to use up the entire chicken and its leftovers. Use the homemade broth for green chicken chili and chicken tortilla soup and notice the difference. You’ll never go back to store-bought again!
What is Homemade Chicken Stock?
Most of us consider stock and broth to be the same thing or at the very least, interchangeable. Here’s the thing, although they both may be used in most recipes, they’re actually not the same! The difference is small, but depending on what you’re using it for, kind of important.
Stock and broth are both frequently used as a base for soups and stews. They’re easy to make, using only a handful of ingredients and they both freeze well.
So, here’s the scoop on how they differ. Homemade chicken stock is made with chicken bones (meat not necessarily included), carrots, onions and celery, and garlic. Usually simmered for a longer period of time to really infuse the water with nutrients from the bones, to get a deeper flavor from the aromatics as well as a darker, richer color. Stock is not usually seasoned.
What is Homemade Chicken Broth?
Chicken broth is made from the meat and not necessarily the bones. It is simmered with carrots, onions, and celery but it is also seasoned with whatever herbs and spices you’d like. The length of time it simmers is not as long, therefore it is lighter in color. Broth is used for soups, stews, sauces, and gravies but it’s also great sipped on its own.
What is Bone Broth?
Ok, but what about bone broth you ask? Bone broth is made when you simmer a combination of bones, meat and seasonings for an extended period of time (up to 24 hours), until all of the nutrition is extracted into a flavorful nutrient dense, protein and collagen filled cup of broth. It is used as a restorative tonic and an immune booster, and meant to be sipped on its own.
This homemade chicken stock recipe is a versatile combination of all of the above! It’s made with the bones vs. meat to create the base of a stock, and it is loaded with flavor like a broth. The simmer time can be anywhere from 1-24 hours, and as you know, the longer you simmer it, the more nutrients are extracted!
What do I do with a pot of stock?
Make a huge pot and store plenty to carry you through the winter. Add in some meat and other ingredients back into it for a delicious soup. Use it as a base for flavorful sauces and gravies or warm up your bones by sipping on a herb-infused cup of yummy broth to ward off cold and flu season.
Whether you call it a stock recipe or a homemade chicken broth recipe, this versatile liquid gold is a budget-friendly, highly nutritious addition to any kitchen!
I typically use a large stock pot on the stove – one that is big enough to hold as much as I plan on making. You can also use a slow cooker or crock pot and simmer on high for a few hours or low for up to 24 hours.
- Bones of a whole chicken most of the meat removed (leftover herb-roasted chicken)
- Yellow onion
- Celery stalks (leaves and stems included)
- Carrots (tops and greens are fine)
- Rosemary sprigs
- Kosher salt
- Coarse black pepper
- Dried oregano, parsley other herbs
How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock:
Step 1: Remove any leftover meat from your chicken and prepare the bones. Use any pieces you might normally discard (fat, skin, gristle) and toss them into a bowl with the bones. All of that will add to the flavor.
Step 2: Add to a large stockpot, chopped onion, celery stalks, and carrots. A rough chop is just fine since we will strain the pieces out later – we just need them for flavor. You can use any of the trimmings from vegetables that you have used for other meals. Keeping a freezer friendly bag of veggie trimmings is a great way to reduce waste. Toss all of these trimmings into the stock pot. The only trimmings that I’ve found to overpower the medley of flavors in a chicken stock is fennel.
Step 3: Layer the chicken bones on top of the veggies and then add salt, pepper, oregano, and any other herbs or seasonings. Then, fill the pot with water to as much or as little as you’d like, depending on how much you’re making. I recommend filling your pot as full as possible. You can easily freeze extra stock; it comes in so handy!
Step 4: Bring the pot of water to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and cover with a lid for at least 1 hour for good flavor. Remember, if you are looking to extract nutrients you will want to keep the stock simmering for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours for maximum benefits. Keep the pot covered while simmering so that the water doesn’t evaporate. You can also add additional water while simmering if needed.
Pour the finished stock through a strainer and discard veggie trimmings or bones. Now sip away on this beautiful flavored liquid or use it in a variety of soups and recipes like green chicken chili and chicken tortilla soup.
The next time your kid asks for chicken noodle soup, skip the store-bought stuff; they’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Refrigerate in a jar with a lid or an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months.
I like to measure out four-cup servings and pour them into labeled Ziploc gallon-size freezer bags.
Homemade Chicken Broth
- bones of a whole chicken most of the meat removed
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 celery stalks leaves and stems included
- 2 medium carrots tops and greens are fine
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, parsley other herbs
- 8-12 cups water
- Prepare the chicken bones for use. Remove leftover meat. Any discarded pieces from a cooked chicken can be thrown in the pot to make the broth/stock (skin, grissle, fat, and bones).
- Place roughly chopped onion, celery stalks, and carrots in a large stock pot. You can use any of the trimmings from vegetables that you used for other dishes. Wash the vegetables first, but carrot peelings, carrot stems and greens, celery greens, or any other vegetable trimmings can be added to the stockpot.
- Layer vegetables and herbs in the stock pot. Layer the chicken bones on top of the vegetables.
- Add salt, pepper, oregano, and any other herbs or seasonings.
- Fill the pot with water. You can make as much broth as you'd like so fill it up!
- Bring the pot of water to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and cover with a lid.
- Simmer for at least 1 hour, but up to 24 hours. 3-4 hours is a good amount of time to infuse a lot of flavor and nutrients into the broth. Keep the pot covered while simmering so that the water doesn't evaporate. Add additional water while simmering if needed.
- When the broth is done simmering, pour it through a strainer to remove all of the vegetable and bone pieces.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.