Homemade chicken stock is super easy to make and so healthy. You can use any chicken cuts you’d like as long as it has bones in it and combine it with vegetables and herbs. There are few simple ingredients required for making chicken stock and it can be made on the stove, Crock Pot, or Instant Pot.
HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK
I keep chicken and beef stock on hand at all times because I use it several times a week. It’s not only soups that call for stock, many sauces and dinner recipes also require some addition of stock. That’s why I always several portions in the freezer ready to go.
It’s very easy to make your own stock, not to mention that it’s also healthier than store-bough and cheaper. Packaged broth and stock is full of preservatives and other ingredients to help increase shelf life. When it comes to homemade, you know every ingredient used to make it and every ingredient is hand-picked by you.
Any type of chicken can be used, as long as it’s bone-in. You can use anything from the whole chicken to a chicken carcass to make your stock.
Whole chicken – if using a whole chicken, make sure to remove the giblets from the cavity first. Whole chicken can be seared as well, just make sure to sear it on all four sides.
Chicken cuts – use bone-in chicken thighs, chicken legs, bone-in chicken breast, and/or wings and drums. When using bone-in chicken breast halves, I highly recommend that you also add some bone-in chicken thighs for the marrow bones. Marrow bones is what you need for the stock full of nutrient.
Carcass – you can use leftover roasted chicken carcass to make stock as well. It is a good way to utilize the carcass but it is not my first choice for homemade stock. Since chicken bones have already been cooked, there won’t be as much nutrients available to be transferred into the stock. If you have access to raw chicken carcass, it would be much better to use.
WHAT IS BONE MARROW
Using marrow bones is what makes the best stock that is rich, meat-flavored, and nutritious. Bone marrow is the soft tissue found inside the large, hollow bones. Marrow is chock-full of nutrients like collages, iron, calcium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, and so much more. It is definitely a super-food that will give your soups cold-fighting super powers.
Nutrition in bone marrow helps promote skin health, joint health, digestive health, and boosts immune system. If you’ve ever wondered how a bowl of soup can actually make you feel better, this is how. When prepared with the best broth and lots of meat and vegetables, a bowl of soup can provide a lot of vitamins and nutritional benefits that will help your body fight the virus.
By cooking meat with bones (and just bones) for a long time, it releases all these nutrients into the stock. You will have the best chicken broth your time and money can buy, even though there was minimal effort involved and it’s budget friendly.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK
For my chicken stock, I take an extra step of searing the chicken first for additional flavor. It takes a few extra minutes and it’s worth it.
Preheat a large pot over medium-high heat, add some canola oil, and add chicken. Sear on both sides until chicken skin is golden brown.
Add vegetables, herbs, peppercorns, salt, and water. Bring mixture to boil, lower heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook for about 4 hours.
Pour the stock through a fine strainer and let the chicken and vegetables sit in the strainer for 10-15 minutes so that all the liquid comes out.
Separate chicken from bones and skin and save it to be used in soup. Discard the vegetables.
CAN I MAKE CHICKEN STOCK IN INSTANT POT?
Absolutely! Chicken stock can be easily made in an Instant Pot in about an hour. One thing to remember is that an Instant Pot can’t be filled all the way up, so make sure to fill it to the recommended fill line. Depending on the size of your Instant Pot, you may need to cut the recipe in half.
Set Instant Pot to saute setting and preheat. Add some oil and sear chicken until golden brown. Combine vegetables, herbs, peppercorns, and salt in with the chicken and pour in water to the fill line.
Close the lid on the Instant Pot until it’s latched, close the valve to “seal,” and set to cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Once time is up, let it release naturally for 10-15 minutes and then do a quick release.
HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE STOCK
Store homemade chicken stock in the refrigerator, in glass jars with a lid. In the refrigerator, homemade stock will last for up to 3 days. I always recommend using the stock within a day or two or freeze it.
Homemade stock should not be left of the counter for too long because bacteria will start to grow and it will lessen the shelf life. Refrigerate stock as soon as it cools down.
HOW TO FREEZE HOMEMADE STOCK
Homemade stock is very easy to freeze large batches or divided into smaller portions.
Freeze stock in zip-top freezer bags and plastic air-tight containers for larger amounts or, muffins pans and ice cube strays for smaller portions. Smaller portions can be used in sauces and other recipes that call for just a little bit of stock and broth.
Larger containers – divide cooled stock among the plastic, freezer friendly containers or freezer bags. Make sure to fill them no more than 3/4 of the way full to allow room for expanding as it freezes. Seal, label, and place in the freezer. Plastic bags can be laid on a large cutting board to freeze and then stacked when frozen. That will save room in the freezer.
Muffin pans and ice cube trays – ladle cooled chicken stock into the muffin pan cups or ice cube trays. Carefully place in the freezer and freeze for about 3 hours until completely frozen. Once it’s frozen, transfer the cubes into freezer zip-top bags, seal, label and freeze. (You can portion the cubes into several smaller freezer bags as well.)
Keep homemade stock in the freezer for up to 3 months.
RECIPES WHERE TO USE CHICKEN STOCK
If you made any of my recipes and shared them on Instagram, make sure to tag me @willcookforsmiles and #willcookforsmiles so I can see all the things you tried!
Connect with Will Cook For Smiles!
Be sure to click below and follow me on my social media, so you never miss a recipe.
Don’t forget to sign up for email, so you won’t miss any new recipes.
Homemade Chicken Stock
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2.5 lbs bone in chicken legs, thighs, or whole chicken
- 1 large yellow onion peeled and cut in half
- 2 large carrots peeled and cut in half
- 2 celery bottoms (save stalks for soup)
- 1 whole garlic bulb separated and peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 springs of fresh thyme
- 10-12 springs of fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
- 1 tbsp salt (optional)
- 16 cups water
- Preheat a large pot over medium-high heat, add some canola oil, and add chicken. Sear on both sides until chicken skin is golden brown.
- Add vegetables, herbs, peppercorns, salt, and water. Bring mixture to boil, lower heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook for about 4 hours.
- Pour the stock through a fine strainer and let the chicken and vegetables sit in the strainer, over the pot, for 10-15 minutes so that all the liquid comes out.
- Separate chicken meat from bones and skin and save it to be used in soup. Discard the vegetables and herbs.
- Store homemade chicken stock in the refrigerator, in glass jars with a lid. In the refrigerator, homemade stock will last for up to 3 days. I always recommend using the stock within a day or two or freeze it.
- See post for freezing instructions.