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 boxed chicken stock.
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 would 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.
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.
Since I had two chicken carcasses, I used two bouquets and also used a bunch of fresh veggies and herbs.
Oh my gosh, you guys. Homemade chicken stock is the way to go.
As convenient as it is to grab a box of chicken stock on the grocery store shelves, there is something about homemade chicken stock that cannot be replicated in a box and mass produced.
I also think the bouquet garnis helps with the flavor.
The homemade chicken stock has such rich flavor and so much depth.
Can you freeze it?
I know this is going to be the number one question and the answer is: yes.
I suggest freezing it in two cup increments because that’s typically how it’s used in recipes so you won’t have to defrost an entire vat of chicken stock just to use two cups.
How would you freeze it?
Use mason jars. I suggest wide mouth!
When you fill it, make sure you don’t overfill. That is how/why the glass cracks.
Water expands when frozen so you want enough room for it to expand, essentially.
Another crucial part is if you’re using mason jars that have “shoulders,” fill to below the shoulder. See my photo above, it could be a little lower
Let it sit at room temperature for 3-4 hours then put it in the fridge overnight.
Do not immediately put the hot/warm liquid into the freezer. This will almost guarantee that your glass will crack. The extreme temperature is not good.
Once it has sat in the fridge overnight (you’ll see a layer of fat on top, which is totally fine but if you don’t like it, you can skim it off with a spoon), place it into the freezer!
How long can you freeze it?
A long time. I read that it can be up to 9 months.
How long can it keep in the fridge?
Not long. Only 5 days max.
If you keep it in there any longer, the bacteria just starts getting to be too much and it’s not safe.
My chicken stock is all lumpy and congealed after it comes out of the fridge.
Yep, that’s normal. Once you warm it up over heat, it becomes liquid.
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!
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.
Now that you’ve made homemade chicken stock, here are recipes you can make with it:
- Chicken noodle soup
- Pennsylvania Dutch chicken pot pie
- Instant Pot jalapeño lime chicken soup
- One-pot creamy orzo with chicken sausage
Homemade Chicken Stock
Servings are adjustable but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings.
- 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)
- 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 5 hours, uncovered. Stir occasionally.
- After 5 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.