Homemade Chicken Stock is easy to make and full of vitamins and minerals! It’s loaded with flavor and lasts for months in the freezer. See the full step by step video in the recipe card below.
If I have one obsession through the winter, it is homemade stock.
Whenever we are making this Perfect Roast Chicken, I get equally as excited about that roasted chicken carcass I can get my hands on afterward.
Homemade chicken stock is just packed full of good things — there is a reason chicken soup is rumoured to heal all!
Since homemade stock is made by simmering chicken bones, it is loaded with gelatin which is rich in protein and boosts the collagen in our bodies (which in turn helps our bones, skin, tendons and ligaments — just a few important things!).
I’m not going to get into all of the health benefits of homemade chicken stock, but I am going to urge you to start making your own because it is the perfect flavor base for so many things!
You can see by the photos — this is not the thin, almost clear liquid that comes out of the carton!
What do I need to make Chicken Stock?
Essentially, you only need chicken bones and water to make chicken stock.
This recipe includes a couple of other things, mainly vegetables and herbs, that add flavor as well, but these are optional so feel free to omit if you don’t have them.
Though it is used here, you don’t need whole vegetables to make stock.
If you have vegetables peels or ends you won’t use, store them in a bag in the freezer and pull them out when you’re making stock. It’s a great way to reduce your waste in the kitchen!
What is the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth?
The difference between chicken stock and chicken broth is that chicken stock is made mostly from chicken bones and chicken broth is made from chicken meat.
Chicken broth is said to have a richer flavor, but I love the added health benefits of making stock with the carcass, and we weren’t going to use those bones for anything else anyways!
I usually leave a bit of meat on the carcass when I’m simmering my stock — just the tiny bits that are hard to get. This way, we get tons of flavor and all of the benefits of using that chicken carcass.
What is the difference between chicken stock and bone broth?
While chicken stock and bone broth are both made with bones, bone broth can really be made with the bones of any animal.
Other than that, there really is no difference between stock and bone broth.
Many recipes for bone broth include a couple tablespoons of vinegar to help break down the collagen and cartilage, while most recipes for stock do not, but this is a matter of personal preference. Cooking the stock for an extended period of time will ensure a gelatin-rich stock regardless.
How do I store chicken stock?
If you are making chicken stock with one carcass, I like to use it that day or the next day for soup.
It is the perfect amount for many recipes, and I love having a big pot of soup in the fridge for quick lunches anyway.
If I’m making a big batch of stock, I like to pour it into large freezer bags — just enough for a batch of soup. Then lay flat in the freezer to freeze.
You can freeze chicken stock up to 3 months, although it will still be safe to eat after that time period.
To use, simply let thaw overnight in the fridge (you will want to place it in a container just in case the bag has a leak), or place in a sink of luke warm water until it has thawed enough to heat in a large pot on the stove top.
What can I use homemade chicken stock for?
So many things!
Some of our favorite soups use chicken stock or broth (you can use both interchangeably):
- Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana
- White Chicken Chili
- Cabbage Soup – made with 6 ingredients!
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup
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- 1 chicken carcass (meat removed)
- 1/2 onion (cut into quarters)
- 1 large carrot (cut into 2-3" pieces)
- 1 rib celery (cut into 2-3" pieces)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3-4 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 12 cups water
- Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue simmering for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.
- Let cool slightly and strain before storing or using.
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