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Homemade chicken stock is one of those staple ingredients to make and keep in your refrigerator or freezer. No store-bought chicken stock can beat this homemade version. It’s basically liquid gold. The flavor is unreal and you’ve never had chicken stock until you’ve tried this.

a large wide mouth Ball mason jar filled with chicken stock next to fresh ingredients like parsley, carrots, and celery.
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I’ve never made homemade chicken stock before and I have heard many amazing things about homemade chicken stock. One of which is the incredible FLAVOR and how concentrated it is compared to store-bought boxed chicken stock. Honestly, as convenient as it is to grab a box of chicken stock from the grocery store shelves, there is something about homemade chicken stock that cannot be replicated in a box and mass produced. The homemade chicken stock has such rich flavor and so much depth.

I started saving my rotisserie chicken carcass because we typically buy one every once in a while for quick and easy meals during the week. I remove all the meat from the bones and shred the chicken meat then I would put the chicken carcass in a gallon freezer bag and pop it in the freezer for when I had time to make chicken stock.

I collected two chicken carcass over the past two months and never “found” the time to make homemade chicken stock until I got terribly ill last Sunday with a stomach bug. I ate bland foods for two days and by day three, I was so sick of white toast, saltines, and apple sauce that I decided I was going to make homemade chicken stock and have some kombucha to get my gut back on track.

bouquet garnis next to fresh ingredients and a jar of bouquet garnis

Ingredients for Homemade Chicken Stock

  • Whole chicken carcass – just the bones. Make sure you take as much meat off the chicken as you can.
  • Fresh vegetables – large chopped celery, carrots, parsley, and onion
  • Bay leaf – two or three leaves.
  • Bouquet garnis – If you don’t have bouquet garnis it’s just typically dried thyme, dried parsley, black peppercorns, dried rosemary, and ground bay leaf. You can make your own by adding a teaspoon or so of each into cheesecloth and tying it at the top.

Note: you typically use fresh herbs for homemade chicken stock but I had a little jar of bouquet garnis that Brandy brought me back from France so I decided to use both fresh and dried. Since I had two chicken carcasses, I used two bouquets.

How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

  • Prepare the vegetables. Roughly chop carrots, celery, and onions. You can keep them relatively long pieces, like 2 inches, since they just need to fit into the pot.
  • Fill the stockpot. Add the chicken bones to the stockpot along with the vegetables and dried herbs. Cover ingredients with water and fill to the top of the stockpot, giving enough room for boiling.
  • Simmer for 3 hours. Bring the mixture to a boil then turn the heat down to low and allow a gentle simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Strain. Once the mixture has cooked down, turn off heat and allow to cool for about 1 hour (I sometimes wait 15-20 minutes and place the stockpot on top of a trivet on my countertop). Put a mesh strainer over a large bowl then ladle the liquid and bones. Continue doing so until all the liquid has been strained.

How to Store Homemade Chicken Stock

  • Freeze it. Allow the chicken stock to come to room temperature then divide into storage containers. In my opinion, the best way to freeze homemade chicken stock is to use Souper Cube two cup or one cup trays. I like using the two cup trays because I find that most recipes use two cups and I also appreciate it’s easier to ladle into a two cup tray. I also love how easy it is to release the frozen stock from the trays and defrosting a cube is way easier than defrosting out of a jar. The chicken stock can be frozen for up to 9 months.
  • Refrigerate it. If you know you are using the chicken stock immediately, you can pour the cooled chicken stock into wide mouth glass mason jars and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days max.
homemade chicken stock in souper cube silicone trays and mason jars


What size stockpot should I use?

If possible, minimum 8 quart for two carcasses. I did mine in 8 quart and more recently I did 10 quart.

Is this technically bone broth?

I considered it bone broth. I mean, what else would it be? You’re boiling down chicken carcass which is bone. When I was sick, I put the homemade chicken stock in a mug and warmed it up in the microwave and sipped on it. It was SO good and made me feel great! This is not medical advice.

Can you make this in the slow cooker or Instant Pot?

I’m sure you can but I would say do it in the slow cooker vs. Instant Pot only because you want concentrated flavor and I feel that Instant Pot cooks everything too fast (which is not a bad thing but in this case, it is) so you wouldn’t get that rich depth of flavor. In the slow cooker, I haven’t done it myself but I would imagine 6-8 hours would work.

Recipes to Make with Homemade Chicken Stock

Now that you’ve got your base, use the chicken stock in the following recipes for a rich, flavorful meal!

5 from 1 vote

Homemade Chicken Stock

Make homemade chicken stock once and I guarantee you that you will be hard-pressed to buy it out of the box again.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Chill time: 1 hour
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 1 gallon


  • 2 whole chicken carcasses from rotisserie chicken
  • 5 stalks celery, halved
  • 5 carrots, chopped in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • Handful fresh parsley
  • 2 bouquet garnis, see notes for alternatives
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  • In a large stockpot, at least 8 quarts, place chicken carcasses in then put everything else around the chicken carcasses.
  • Fill the stockpot with water until the chicken carcasses are covered. Bring to a boil then reduce to an extremely gentle simmer (barely any bubbles) and let cook for 3 hours, uncovered. Stir occasionally.
  • After 3 hours, remove from heat. Let cool for 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour, remove the bones, as much as you can then place a large strainer over a large bowl and carefully pour contents of stockpot into the strainer.
  • Discard contents of the strainer then use a funnel and pour liquid into mason jars. Let sit at room temperature for a few hours then put in the fridge.
  • Read blog post for directions on freezing and also how long to keep in the fridge.



If you don’t have bouquet garnis it’s just typically dried thyme, dried parsley, black peppercorns, dried rosemary, and ground bay leaf. You can make your own by adding a teaspoon or so of each into cheesecloth and tying it at the top.


Serving: 1gallon, Calories: 217kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 383mg, Potassium: 1715mg, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 24g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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  1. Hi Julie, great chicken stock recipe thank you. Can I ask a question – do you also use all the juices from the cooking tray to make the stock? Most recipes seem to just call for water (and bones! )
    One tip from me – I don’t include the chicken skin in the stock base and I also always pop in a half Lemon/Lime to cut through any fatty taste ?

    1. Hi, I don’t use the juices from the cooking tray that the rotisserie chicken comes in because I noticed it was super fatty! I’m sure it’s a lot of flavor but I omit. I do keep the chicken skin in the stock base though…so I guess if you want to use the juices from the cooking tray and are omitting the chicken’s kind of like a trade-off.

  2. Thanks for your great blog! Your recipe looks yummy. As a nurse and current cancer fighter, I would love to see you recommend organic bones if at all possible. Non-organic chicken, beef, etc are subjected to glyphosate (the primary ingredient in RoundUp weed killer). It gets into their collagen and subsequently ours, causing multiple health issues. The linked article was written by an MIT grad and research professor Stephanie Seneff.
    Please review the information and make your own conclusion.