Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (2024)

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

Making homemade chicken stock is one of those get-back-to-basics recipes that elevates so many dishes. Today I’ll show you how to make stock from leftover bones, basic aromatics, and leftover ingredients with multiple options to customize your batch!

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (1)

Restaurants make their own stock as a base to soups, sauces, and an array of dishes to add a depth of flavor that’s hard to replicate from store-bought broth.

Bone Broth vs Chicken Stock vs Chicken Broth

Having become a bone broth aficionado for the last few years, I’ve come to learn the differences between stock and bone broth. Chicken stock is more related to bone broth in that you simmer bones and aromatics for hours.

The difference is rich bone broth often requires more bones than stock and needs to be gently simmered for 12-24 hours to extract as much collagen as possible to increase the nutritional value. The more gelatinous it is when it’s cooled, the better.

Chicken stock can be simmered for as little as 3 hours or up to 8 hours. Stock generally doesn’t require as many bones unless you’re really wanting to up the amount of collagen in your stock.

Basically, they are the same thing with slight variations.

Chicken broth on the other hand is a quick version of the two above that won’t pack as much flavor because you aren’t simmering bones for hours. The flavor comes from simmering the meat and aromatics.

Can I speed up the cooking process for stock?

Absolutely! I have tested lots of bone broth recipes over the years and the same rules apply to stock. An Instant Pot or pressure cooker will be your best friend for cooking incredibly flavored broth in less than 3 hours!

Check out my Instant Pot Bone Broth recipe here. It’s very similar to this recipe but you use more bones to make the broth.

What if I can’t be by the stove for so many hours?

In this case, the slow cooker will be your best bet for slowly simmering your stock without having to babysit it. You can increase the time to 8-12 hours if you want to cook it all day or overnight.

The only downside is the size of the crockpot may not be as big as a stock pot, so your recipe will make less broth. But it’s still the best option so that you don’t have to worry about leaving the house or being away from your kitchen while it’s cooking.

What kind of bones do you use?

You can use a whole chicken carcass or a combination of bones from leftover chicken wings, thighs, and breasts.

Or you can buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and save the bones. You freeze the bones in a container or freezer bag for up to one month.

Can I cook the meat on the bones in the stock too?

Yes you can, but you’ll need to remove the meat when it’s cooked through, let it rest for at least 10 minutes, then cut or pull the meat off of the bones. You’ll want to add the bones back to the broth to finish simmering.

I love to roast my own chicken. enjoy it for dinner, then save the bones for stock to really stretch a dollar and make good use of all ingredients.

Check out my Upside Down Roasted Chicken Recipe for a mouth-watering recipe!

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (2)

To get started, simply crush the garlic and leave the skins on. Chop the carrots into halves or thirds. Quarter the onions and leave the skins on.

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (3)

Now add the bones to a large stock pot, instant pot, or slow cooker. Add filtered water (if possible) and the aromatics from the photo above, along with peppercorns and herbs.

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (4)

Partially cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a gentle simmer. Lower the heat to low and keep the lid on but only partially covering the pot.

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (5)

After three hours the stock will look like the photo below. If you’d like to simmer it for more than 3 hours or up to 8 hours, you’ll need to remove some of the foam that rises to the top.

If the water level lowers during longer simmering, you can add more water back to the pot. See the recipe card for instructions on cooking the stock in an Instant Pot or slow cooker.

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (6)

Storing the Stock

You can pour the stock into mason jars and use a tea strainer to remove any solids from the stock. Leave one inch of space from the top to allow for expansion when you freeze your stock, otherwise the glass could crack in the freezer. Cover with the mason jar lid when it’s cooled.

Refrigerate and use the stock within three days or freeze for one month.

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (7)
Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (8)

Enjoy this broth on its own in a cup or use it to cook rice, risotto, sauces, etc.!

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (9)

Freeze broth into ice cubes

A simple way to freeze this stock is to freeze them into ice cubes! Once the cubes are frozen, remove them from the ice cube tray and store in a container or freezer bag.

This takes up less space in your freezer and when you are ready to use it, you can thaw only a small portion of broth at once.

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (10)

Recipes to make with homemade stock

Easy Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (11)

White Bean Chicken Meatball Soup with Pesto

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (12)

Or check out this post with 5 soup recipes to pair with sourdough bread

Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (13)

Don’t forget to save your chicken bones and make flavorful stock at home. So many dishes will be elevated with it and you’ll save money too!

Bon Appetit Ya’ll,

Leslie O.

Homemade stock is easy to make, delicious, and nourishing and it's a great way to use leftover bones and vegetable scraps and aromatics. This recipe is customizable so you can use what you have at home.

5 from 1 vote

Print Pin Rate

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours hours

Servings: 8 cups

Author: Bessie Bakes


  • Large Stock Pot

  • Or use an Instant Pot to speed up cooking time

  • Or a Crock Pot to safely cook it all day or overnight without having to watch it


  • 1 Chicken carcass from one whole chicken
  • filtered water the amount will differ based on the size of your pot
  • 3 whole carrots cut into thirds, keep skins on
  • 2 small onions or 1 large one, quartered with skins on
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed with skins on
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary kept whole
  • fresh thyme sprigs 4-7 sprigs kept whole
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns

See ingredient substitutions in the recipe notes below


    Cooking stock on the stove top

    • Add the chicken carcass and any other wings or thigh bones you have, carrots, crushed garlic with skins, quartered onions with skins, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, whole peppercorns to a large stock pot.

    • Add filtered water (if possible) to just below the top of the pan, leaving a little room at the top so it doesn't boil over.

    • Place on the stove top on medium-high heat and partially cover with a lid to allow the water to come to a gentle simmer.

    • Once it comes to a simmer lower the heat to low and keep the pot partially covered.

    • Simmer for as little as 3 hours or up to 8 hours for best flavor in your stock.

    If you simmer for more than 3 hours

    • If you simmer for more than 3 hours, you may need to skim the surface of the foam that rises to the top a couple of times. You can use a hand-held sifter to catch the foam easily. You can also use a spoon if you don't have a hand-held sifter.

    • If the water level lowers due to simmering, add some more water while it's simmering.

    Storing the stock

    • Strain the bones and ingredients from the pot.

    • You can pour the stock into mason jars if you have them. I like using a tea strainer when pouring in the stock to strain out any solids from the liquid.

      Use the stock within 3 days of refrigerating.

    Freezing the stock

    • Freeze in mason jars but make sure to let the broth cool down before freezing. Also leave an inch of empty space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion, otherwise the glass jar could crack in the freezer.

      Or you can freeze your broth into ice cubes so you'll have smaller servings to thaw when you need it. Once the cubes are frozen, remove them from the ice cube tray and store in a container or freezer bag.

      This takes up less space in your freezer and when you are ready to use it, you can thaw only a small portion of broth at once.

    Instant Pot instructions (the panel buttons may vary based on your model)

    • Add the chicken bones and all other ingredients to the pot. Fill the pot with filtered water all the way up to the fill line, and no more.

    • Place the lid on and turn to secure it. Make sure it's sealed. Flip the knob towards "sealing" to seal in the pressure.

    • Press "pressure cook". Turn the time to 2 hours or 120 minutes. The instant pot should say "on" at this point. This means that the pot is heating up and pressurizing. This should take about 30 minutes. Once the instant pot is up to temperature, it will start timing the 2-hour pressure cooking, so you will know how long this will take.

    • Once the instant pot is done with the cooking process, the heat will turn off. At this point, you will need to release the pressure from the pot. However, I do NOT recommend releasing the pressure manually from the pressure knob. Instead, allow the pressure to release naturally, which takes 10-25 minutes, but will keep steam/broth from shooting all over your ceiling!

    • When the silver knob drops next to the knob, the pressure has released. Remove the lid and strain out all of the ingredients.

    Slow Cooker Instructions

    • Add the chicken carcass and additional ingredients to the crock pot. Pour in enough water to almost the top of the pot.

    • Secure the lid on the crock pot and set the cooking time to low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4 hours.

    • Remove the lid and skim the foam from the surface with a handheld flour sifter or a spoon.


    Swap out ingredients:

    If you don’t have onions you can use:

    • 3-5 whole shallots cut in half with skins on.
    • A bundle of green onions. Use the entire thing in the pot.

    If you don’t have fresh rosemary or thyme:

    • Fresh parsley (you can also use all three if you have these on hand).

    Use vegetable scraps in your broth

    • Keep your onion skins, garlic skins, and carrot skins from previous uses and freeze them in a container. Add the extra vegetable scraps to the pot for extra flavor.

    Extra add-ons for more bold flavor

    • Lemongrass stalk
    • Large slice of fresh ginger

    Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @Bessie.Bakes or tag #BessieBakes!

    If you’d like to see more recipes, please subscribe to my blog in the form below!





    Customizable Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Bessie Bakes (2024)


    What is the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock recipe? ›

    Stock is generally made from bones, and broth is generally made from flesh. In both cases, they are often supported with aromatic vegetables, but in the case of stock, left unseasoned for maximum flexibility in recipes, whereas broth will usually contain at least salt and pepper.

    What can I add to chicken broth to make it taste better? ›

    "If your broth is lacking in savory richness, try adding roasted onion, tomato paste, mushrooms, seaweed, soy sauce, or miso. These ingredients add umami flavor and depth to broth," she says. The choice of ingredient depends on the recipe, though.

    What is the correct ratio for chicken stock? ›

    That minimum ratio—a pound of chicken per quart of water—was sufficient to extract enough gelatin from the wings to give me the loosely gelled stock above. If you can pack in even more chicken and aromatics, your stock will only get richer and more gelatinous.

    What are the do's and don'ts of chicken stock? ›

    Avoid using celery tops for a clear, bright stock. Don't add salt to the stock; season the final dish to let the stock's flavour shine through. If you want to store your stock, freeze it. Reserve additional vegetables and herbs for the final dish or add them to the stock if the recipe calls for it.

    How do you make stock? ›

    How to make stock
    1. Place chicken carcasses/bones into large pan and top with cold water. Heat to a gentle simmer and skim off any protein scum which rises up. ...
    2. Add vegetables and bouquet garni. ...
    3. Strain the stock, pour into a clean pan and boil fiercely to reduce the stock and intensify the flavour.

    Which is stronger chicken broth or stock? ›

    Stock has a richer, deeper flavor and mouthfeel, making it better at adding body to a dish, whereas broth might be a better choice when you want to let other flavors to shine.

    Which is healthier chicken stock or chicken broth? ›

    And the Winner Is..

    Stock! Whether homemade or store-bought it has more protein and usually less sodium per serving as compared to broth. Plus, the flavor is just better which means you'll start with something tastier and will hopefully use less salt to taste at the end.

    Is bouillon the same as stock? ›

    Although broth, stock and bouillon are not exactly the same, they can generally be used interchangeably in cooking. If you have the option, go for broth or bouillon when the flavour of the liquid is a key element of your recipe, and reach for stock to add new depths to a well-seasoned dish.

    Why do you put lemon juice in chicken soup? ›

    Lemons are a chicken soup game changer. Why? They brighten up and balance the salty, rich flavors of the dish, and make all of the ingredients come into line. Like a vinaigrette on a salad, the pickle on a burger, and the sour cream in a coffee cake, a squeeze of lemon gives chicken soup a game-changing brightness.

    How do you make broth taste rich? ›

    To the pot, add cut-up vegetables, such as celery (with leaves), carrots, and unpeeled onion, as well as seasonings, such as salt, dried thyme, peppercorns, fresh parsley, bay leaves, and unpeeled garlic clove halves. All of these add flavor to the broth.

    How do you get the bitter taste out of chicken broth? ›

    Add salt and acid: Adding a pinch of salt and a squeeze of acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, can help balance out the flavors and make the stock taste more palatable.

    How long should you simmer chicken stock? ›

    Chicken stock can be simmered for as little as 1 hour or up to 8 hours. Most often, you'll see recipes call for somewhere in between, about 3 to 4 hours. The longer the stock simmers, the more concentrated its flavor.

    Can you overcook chicken stock? ›

    You can overcook chicken broth.

    In fact, I have many times. If the broth is simply unseasoned bones and skin, it can be cooked for a long time without developing a bad flavor. However, a broth that includes vegetables and herbs can become bitter or develop an unpleasant flavor if simmered too long.

    Should homemade chicken stock be thick? ›

    Broth is usually thinner and made from chicken meat, while chicken stock is made from simmering bones for a long time. Chicken stock is usually thicker and has a richer mouth feel from the gelatin released from the long-simmered bones.

    What can I use if I don't have stock? ›

    5 Broth Substitutes to Use In a Pinch
    • Boullion cubes. ...
    • Beer, wine, or vermouth. ...
    • Water. ...
    • Mushrooms. ...
    • Lemon or lime juice.
    May 2, 2020

    How do I substitute chicken stock for broth? ›

    Stock and Broth Substitutes

    In most cases, stock and broth are interchangeable. If you're in the soup aisle and can't remember whether the recipe called for stock or broth, either will do for making soup, gravy, or a flavorful pot of rice or grains. Keep in mind that stock is unseasoned, and broth is seasoned.

    What is a substitute for chicken stock concentrate? ›

    Beef Bone Broth

    This is a pretty easy, straightforward substitute for concentrated chicken stock. You can make it by simmering beef bones in water with spices and veggies until you wind up with a highly concentrated broth. It is heavier and fattier than chicken broth because it includes bone marrow.

    What can I use in place of chicken base? ›

    To substitute one tablespoon of chicken base, use one teaspoon each of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried parsley or Italian seasoning stirred into one tablespoon of water.

    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

    Last Updated:

    Views: 6207

    Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

    Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

    Birthday: 1996-05-16

    Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

    Phone: +2613987384138

    Job: Chief Retail Officer

    Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

    Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.