Basics: Chicken Stock

Making your own chicken stock is incredibly easy. Now I am kicking myself for not making it for all these years. But in the last month I have made two batches, basically for free. And it is thick and rich and doesn’t contain any unneccessary additives. For example, the brand I used before contained “chicken flavor” (what the heck does that mean, anyway?) and honey (why does this need sweetening?). The brands with salt have a ridiculous amount — 15 to 20 percent of your daily recommended amount of sodium per cup. Yikes! Some brands contain MSG or weird preservatives. And they are still expensive. Why pay $3 a carton when I can make twice as much with scraps I was going to throw away anyway?

So now I am a convert. Please try this just once, I promise you too will change your thinking!

You need:

  • 1 chicken  carcass or about a pound of scraps (I have seen this for sale at the grocery store, usually in a package of necks & backs. This will be dirt cheap.)
  • vegetable scraps (onion ends, parsley stems, dried out baby carrots, mushroom stems, peels, cores, whatever. I save mine up as I go in a zip-top bag in the freezer.)
  • water
  1. Put everything in a pot. Use enough water to cover everything.
  2. Simmer, lid on, for at least 3 hours. You can go as long as you want, until the bones dissolve if you so desire (this is probably a little extreme). Add water as necessary to keep everything submerged.
  3. Strain out the solids. Chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in small batches. Skim/scrape off any solidified fat if desired.

My favorite method is to cook a chicken in the crock pot, then make stock in the crock pot overnight on low. Couldn’t be simpler!



  1. You are right, making your own stock is easy and you cannot beat the flavor. We order our chicken from a local organic farmer, we use the carcass from the roasting hens to produce a rich thick stock which then I freeze and use as needed.

  2. […] And of course, don’t forget to make stock. […]

  3. […] cups beef or chicken stock,* or […]

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