Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

Stove Top and Slow Cooker Instructions


Homemade chicken stock tastes a lot better than even the best store-bought broths!  With a chicken carcass, some vegetables, and a little time, you can have the makings of a great soup.

This quick and easy Homemade Chicken Stock recipe uses a cooked rotisserie chicken to save time and effort.  Using a purchased supermarket rotisserie chicken is a much simpler and easier way to make homemade stock.  In our house, when the carcass of the rotisserie chicken is picked almost clean, it is time to make delicious chicken stock. The taste is so much better than those boxed or canned chicken stocks that you can purchase in your local grocery store.  You will love this shortcut method of making homemade chicken stock. I have provided both stovetop and slow cooker instructions for cooking homemade chicken stock.

Among the many benefits of making your own stock is the ability to use whatever vegetables you have on hand or stashed in your freezer.  When you prep vegetables, save the trimmings for stock.  Bits of carrots, celery, tomato, and potato – basically all the stuff that you would normally throw in the compost bin, can go into your stock.  I keep a large resealable plastic bag in my freezer to place these vegetable odds and ends.


Homemade Chicken Stock


Homemade Turkey Stock – Do not throw out those leftover turkey bones!  My favorite thing to do the morning after Thanksgiving is to make homemade turkey stock from the turkey carcass.  It is so easy to do and so delicious!

Learn how to cook Chicken Bone Broth in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.  Also if you would like to learn how to make a lighter broth, try out our recipe for Traditional Jewish Chicken Soup.


Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Slow Cooker:
8 hrs
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins
Course: Ingredient
Keyword: Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe
  • 1 fully-cooked rotisserie chicken carcass with some skin/meat left on the bones (any excess fat removed and discarded)*
  • Cold water**
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 to 3 ribs celery, sliced
  • Additional vegetables of your choice***
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Stock Pot Instructions:
  1. Use a stock pot that is tall and narrow to help slow water loss from evaporation.  If you have a pasta pot with a strainer, this is great pot to use to separate bones and vegetables from finished stock when done cooking.

  2. In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, place the prepared chicken carcass (I usually break the carcass into smaller pieces to fit into the pot easier).  Add chicken onion, garlic, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, any additional vegetables, and enough water to completely cover the chicken carcass.

  3. Chicken Stock-Frozen Vegetables Scraps
  4. NOTE:  If you are preparing homemade stock for use in a recipe that calls for reducing the liquid, such as risotto, use less salt so it won't over-whelm the finished dish.

  5. Bring the water just to a boil and then reduce heat to a slow simmer.  DOT NOT COVER THE POT.  Let simmer approximately 60 to 90 minutes so the stock can reduce and concentrate its flavor.  The key to a good stock is to bring water to a boil just once at the beginning and then cook at just barely a simmer for the remainder of the cooking time, as long slow cooking is best to extract all the subtle flavors.  Chicken stock can take anywhere from 1 hour to 5 hours (if you're using a Slow Cooker).  Remember, the longer you have to let the stock simmer, the richer and more nutritious it will become.  

    Chicken Stock-Simmering in pot
Slow Cooker Instructions:
  1. Use a large 7-8 quart slow cooker and pre-heat on high heat.

  2. Place the prepared chicken carcass (I usually break the carcass into smaller pieces to fit into the pot easier).  Add chicken onion, garlic, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, any additional vegetables, and enough water to completely cover the chicken carcass.  Cover with a lid and cook on high heat for 4-5 hours or low heat for 8-10 hours.

Straining the Stock:
  1. After cooking, remove the pot from the heat or turn off the slow cooker.  Remove and discard the chicken bones, vegetables, and any meat pieces (since you have cooked the mixture for a long time, there is no nutritional value left).

  2. Strain the remaining liquid to remove smaller particles in the stock (pour the liquid through a fine mesh sieve place over a large pot).  Be careful as the stock will be hot!

    Chicken Stock-Straining Stock
  3. If you refrigerate your strained chicken stock overnight, any fat left will rise to the top in a solid form.  This makes for easy removal of the fat (just scrape if off with a spoon and discard).  The stock becomes jelly-like when it’s chilled. It will return to its normal liquid state once it warms up.

    Chicken Stock-Skimming Fat
  4. Storing Chicken Stock:  The chicken stock can be refrigerated up to 3 day in advance of using.  If not planning to use the chicken stock within 3 days, place in the freezer until ready to use.  Whether the stock has been refrigerated until cold or stored in the freezer, there will be a thin layer of chicken fat that has congealed on the top.  Remove that by scraping it off with a spoon before you cook with the stock.  Discard the congealed fat.  I usually refrigerate my chicken stock and skim off the fat before using in my soup making.

Recipe Notes

Chicken Stock-Frozen Vegetable Scraps* I like to use the the Costco rotisserie chickens. They are much cheaper to buy and very delicious and moist.  Cut or pull most of the meat off the bones and skin; reserve approximately 50% of the chicken meat for the soup (as much or as little as you desire).

** To extract the most flavor from your stock ingredients, start with cold water.

*** The amount and types of vegetables used in your stock can vary according to your taste.  I like to save vegetable scraps (such as vegetable scraps from carrots, celery, kale, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, spinach, onions, beets, beet greens, potato peelings) in a ziplock bag in freezer to add to stock.  This adds a lot of additional nutrients.  


Comments From Readers:

I just wanted to say thank you for the chicken stock recipe!  It is simmering as I type this and can’t wait to try it.  Your site is very helpful.  I am especially excited about the dinner menu section of the site.  I look forward to trying more recipes. – Thank you again, Michelle (10/25/15)

Comments and Reviews

3 Responses to “Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe”

  1. Brent

    Two schools of thought on this method.
    A pre-roasted carcass is a preference thing. Really rich good broth. Less time.
    A fresh carcass is just as good and sometimes better because you can introduce the roasted items to the broth to create a soup.
    That was the only tweak I made to your tomatillo/chicken soup recipe (https://whatscookingamerica.net/Soup/SpicyChickenTomatilloSoup.htm) (am I posting on the wrong comment thread?) was broil the tomatillos, garlic, and onion, food process them, then add a little homemade red chili powder which also had the oregano and cumin in it.
    In this way I made up the roast taste I didn’t have from my on-sale fryer chicken (whose meat I pulled after two hours before throwing skin and bones back in the pot to simmer longer).
    The value of your broth recipe is the roasted chicken stock will save on time.
    I went 5 hours (same stock ingredients as you) with the fresh carcass–which, as you note above, usually needs a long time). I usually go 24-48 in a slow cooker with a fresh carcass (minus meat of course). It’s easter and I cut time corners today as you can see. Your methods inspired me time-wise and my light bulb went on. I flip-flopped what you did and I think it came out equal.
    I think both of your recipes are great. My soup, thanks to you, is almost ready to be shut off, and tastes delicious.
    My 2 cents and I hope it helps anyone. Thanks, Brent

  2. dawn

    I must have put too much water in mine, as it is not flavorful. Will simmering it again help this or should I pitch it?

    • Linda Stradley

      Simmer it longer to reduce the liquid.


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