Chicken stock is a cornerstone of so many meals, and it’s so easy to make! Not only does this Easy Chicken Stock Recipe deliver serious flavor, but it’s also incredibly nutritious. Whether you need a stock for sauces, gravy, or soups and stews, this homemade chicken stock will add a savory depth you just can’t achieve from store-bought stock.
- What Is Chicken Stock?
- What’s the Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth?
- Why You’ll Love This Easy Chicken Stock Recipe
- Recipe Ingredients
- How to Make a Flavorful Chicken Stock: Step-By-Step
- Recipe Substitutions
- Recipe Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Recipes that Need Chicken Stock
- Printable Recipe Card
- Pin Recipe for Later!
What Is Chicken Stock?
Chicken stock is a flavorful golden liquid made by simmering chicken bones, meat, vegetables, and aromatics in water for several hours. A good stock is the building block of all good soups, stews, and sauces, and with good reason! It adds a savory flavor and richness to dishes that can’t be beaten.
Stock can also be made with other meat, such as lamb or beef. Or you can make plant-based versions using a variety of vegetables. Using homemade chicken stock instead of stock cubes will make your cooking next-level delicious!
What’s the Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth?
Chicken stock and chicken broth are two similar ingredients that are often used interchangeably in cooking. There is, however, a distinct difference. Chicken stock is a liquid made by simmering chicken bones and vegetable scraps with water for an extended period. As it steeps, the chicken’s essence is released into the water, where it then concentrates. This results in chicken stock having a complex flavor profile and a strong presence of gelatin in the chicken bones.
On the other hand, chicken broth is typically made by simply simmering chicken meat and vegetables in water for a shorter period of time than required when making chicken stock. Thus, chicken broth doesn’t develop as robust of an aroma or flavor, and its viscosity tends to be thinner than chicken stock.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Chicken Stock Recipe
- It’s so easy to make. This flavorful stock is super easy to make and requires minimal hands-on prep!
- You can make it ahead. Stock can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until a recipe calls for it.
- It’s simply liquid gold. Homemade chicken stock is an excellent base ingredient for soups and stews, gravy, and sauces, adding tons of flavor.
- There’s no added salt. This unsalted chicken stock gets a slightly salty flavor from the bacon. As most of us season our recipes as we go, adding a salty stock can leave you with a much too salty dish.
- You can reduce waste. This recipe uses my favorite veggies. Still, you can use whatever vegetables or vegetable scraps you’ve got. Mushrooms, leeks, and parsnips are all great options.
- It saves money. Making your own stock is cheaper than buying natural chicken stock from the store.
- Free-Range Chicken Legs
- Smoky Bacon Rashers
- Banana Shallots
- Celery Ribs
- Bay Leaf
- Fresh Parsley and Thyme
- Black Peppercorns
- Cold Filtered Water
How to Make a Flavorful Chicken Stock: Step-By-Step
Here’s how to make chicken stock in five illustrated steps:
- Add Vegetables to a Pot
Add the chicken legs, smoky bacon rashers, banana shallots, carrots, celery, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, and black peppercorns into a large stockpot or saucepan.
- Boil then Simmer
Add cold filtered water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove any foam that forms on top of the liquid. Then, turn the heat to low and place the lid slightly ajar. You want to hold a low simmer for at least 4 hours.
Remove from the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.
Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl (preferably with a spout). Apply a little pressure to the stewed meat and veggies to extract as much golden liquid as possible. Leave it to cool completely. Remove the fat layer that forms on top.
- Divide Into Containers
Refrigerate or freeze your stock into separate airtight containers in volumes that come in handy for your recipes. I like to store it in 1 cup (237 ml) and 2 cup (473 ml) portions.
Find the recipe card with exact ingredients and full recipe instructions at the bottom of this page. ⇩
- Raw Chicken: I’m using chicken legs in this recipe. But you can use any bone-in chicken you want. A whole chicken, chicken wings, chicken feet, and chicken carcass are all good options.
- Cooked Chicken: Roasted chicken bones are excellent for heartier broths. You can use leftover chicken bones and roast chicken pieces.
- Onions: I don’t believe you can achieve the best chicken stock without onions. But that doesn’t mean you have to use shallots as this recipe suggests. You can achieve that mellow onion flavor using leeks, spring onions, or chives. Alternatively, for a more robust onion flavor, use brown onions. And if you don’t mind your stock having a purple-brown tinge, red onions are great.
- Stock evaporation: To avoid too much stock evaporating as it simmers, add the lid. For a more concentrated flavor but less liquid volume, simmer with the lid off.
- Use a bowl with a pour spout: Let the chicken stock cool down slightly, then strain through a fine mesh strainer into a mixing bowl with a spout. This makes it easier to distribute the stock into containers later on.
- Portion out the stock: Pour the stock into separate airtight containers so it is easier to access the amount you need when you need it.
- Remove the fat: As the chicken stock cools, you’ll notice a layer of fat form on the surface. Scrap this off with a spoon if you don’t want it in your stock. To avoid waste, you can use this natural fat for cooking.
- Be mindful of stock expanding in the freezer: Leave at least an inch of space at the top of the containers to allow the chicken stock to expand when it freezes. Wide Mouth Kilner Jars are a great option.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Use a lid on the stockpot but keep it slightly ajar. This allows enough steam to evaporate to concentrate the stock, which means more flavor but prevents too much liquid from disappearing.
2) Keep the hob on low heat and a gentle simmer. Any hotter than this and more liquid will evaporate.
Yes! This easy chicken stock recipe is gluten-free.
Yes! This chicken stock freezes well and will maintain its flavor for 2-3 months when stored in a freezer-safe airtight container or freezer bag. You can also portion it out using ice-cube trays. Once frozen, transfer your stock cubes to a freezer bag.
Yes! Chicken stock should be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. After that, it will start to go bad. To avoid wastage of unused chicken stock, simply put it in a freezer-friendly, airtight container and freeze it for 2-3 months.
Recipes that Need Chicken Stock
You can use this chicken stock as an ingredient in the following nutritious and delicious recipes:
- Chicken Chasseur
- Chicken and Spinach Curry (Palak Chicken)
- Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Chicken Gravy
- Roast Turkey
Thinking of making this recipe? Please drop me a note in the comment section and provide a star rating! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I ALWAYS LOVE hearing from you.
Printable Recipe Card
Easy Chicken Stock Recipe
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- Stockpot, or a large saucepan with a lid
- Fine Mesh Strainer
- Large Mixing Bowl
- 4 ½ lbs (2 kg) bone-in chicken legs , chicken wings, carcasses, neck, and feet are all fine to use)
- 5 rashers smoked bacon
- 2 banana shallots, peeled and halved
- 4 medium carrots, washed and chopped into 1-inch pieces (no need to peel)
- 4 ribs celery, washed chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup (10 g) fresh parsley
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, about eight whole peppercorns
- 4 quarts (3 ¾ L) cold filtered water
- Stockpot: Add the chicken legs, smoky bacon rashers, banana shallots, carrots, celery, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, and black peppercorns to a large stockpot or saucepan.
- Boil, then Simmer: Add cold filtered water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove any foam that forms on top of the liquid. Then, turn the heat to low and place the lid slightly ajar. Hold the stock at a low simmer for at least 4 hours.
- Cool: Remove from the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.
- Strain: Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl. Apply a little pressure to the stewed meat and veggies with a wooden spoon to extract as much golden liquid as possible.
- Divide into Containers: Pour the stock into separate airtight containers in volumes that come in handy for your recipes. I like to store it in 1 cup (237 ml) and 2 cup (473 ml) portions. Then leave the stock to cool completely. It will become gelatinous – this is normal. You can then store in the fridge or freezer until
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.