Chicken Stock Recipe

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This chicken stock recipe is a basic recipe that can make as much or as little chicken stock as you’d like to make.

I’m not one to waste food these days, so I instantly put the “throw away” parts of the chicken to work for me.

There’s just nothing like homemade chicken stock. It serves so many purposes. From soup bases to flavoring cooked grains and stews, chicken stock is a must have in any clean eating kitchen.

Clean Eating Chicken Stock

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN STOCK:

  • Save up bones for a few weeks or months in the freezer if you want to make a big batch. Otherwise, one chicken carcass will work just fine.
  • Put your carcass in a large stock pot and fill it almost all the way to the top with good quality water.
  • Add any veggies you would normally add to soup. This can be chopped carrots and/or carrot tops, onions, celery, garlic…. anything you have on hand that can add flavor.
  • Add that to your pot and put the lid on.
  • Bring everything to a boil reduce heat to a strong simmer. Cook this way for 1 hour with the lid on.
  • After the first hour, remove the lid and continue cooking until the broth has the strength of flavor you enjoy Possibly another 1-3 hours, depending on the size of your pot and amount of water used. I usually cook mine down to almost half. This gives me a good strong flavor. Note that you may have to turn up the heat slightly once the lid is off to keep a good strong simmer going.
  • Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Once you have a flavor you like, strain the broth from the other ingredients, let it cool a bit and then pour the broth into jars for storage. Up to 3 days in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer. If freezing, you may want to consider freezing in zipper-top plastic bags or make sure your jars are freezer-safe.
  • Discard everything else.

MORE STOCKING UP RECIPES AND IDEAS:

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CHICKEN STOCK RECIPE:

Clean Eating Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock Recipe

Print Pin Rate
Course: Base Recipes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Equipment

  • Large stock pot

Ingredients

  • chicken bones (mine was from a 5 lb. chicken)
  • 2 cups carrots (chopped or sliced)
  • 1 large onion (chopped or sliced)
  • 4 large celery stalks (sliced)
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. peppercorns
  • 20 cups water (approximate - to almost fill your pot. You may need more or less)

Instructions

  • After you've removed all the edible parts of your chicken, put everything else in a very large stock pot. This includes skin, cartilage, any part you don't eat. You can use more bones if you have them. I often store extras in the freezer until I'm ready to make broth.
  • Add water to the pot.
  • Then go into your refrigerator and find any veggies that would typically go well in soup. For me, that was onions, carrots and celery. But you can also use greens such as carrot tops. Any veggie that will give the broth flavor will work.
  • Add your herbs and spices and set the pot to boil. Boil with the lid on for the first hour. Then remove the lid, and allow the stock to cook down until it achieves the strength of flavor you enjoy (I taste it about every 45-60 minutes).
  • Allow the pot to cool, and place in the fridge over night.
  • Skim off any fat that has risen to the top.
  • Drain the entire contents of the pot through a sieve, into another large pot.
  • Throw out the remains and bottle your stock.
  • Storage: If you won't be using your stock within 3 days of making it, it can be frozen for 6 months to a year. But I recommend you use frozen stock no later than 8 months.

Notes

No nutrition data for this recipe. It will depend on the amount of water you end up using.

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28 Comments

  1. Kassi Lent says:

    Do you freeze your stock in jars? Or are those pictures of stock that has been canned? I am interested in doing this but I don’t have a large family and not sure how long it would take me to get through a batch! Also after frozen, Should I defrost in fridge? Will there be any separation? Thank you!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Kassi – I froze mine. I always do because I know nothing about canning. It freezes very, very well. I usually defrost in the microwave, but the fridge will work just fine. Enjoy!

    2. I freeze stock in Ziploc baggies. I do several 1 C portions, a few 2C portions and an ice cube tray of 1 TBSP portions. Lay out on a cookie sheet, freeze, stack up.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Erica – That’s a great idea to do different sized portions! Thanks!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nicole – Sounds wonderful! Great job!

  3. Omigosh, this is delicious! I keep a gallon resealable bag in the freezer, where I put veggie ends, onion skins, and celery roots & tops. I had bones from one chicken, plus five drumstick bones I’d frozen. After 90 minutes, this is delicious! Can’t wait to strain and refrigerate this stock, and use it in everything!

    1. Anonymous says:

      J.S. – Wonderful! That’s the way to do it too. Save stuff up and then make it. Good for you!!!

  4. graciouspantry says:

    Mary – Thanks! I’ve never tried it in a slow cooker. But I will! Thanks!

  5. graciouspantry says:

    Tanya – Thanks! Enjoy the stock!

  6. graciouspantry says:

    Try letting the broth sit for about 1/2 – 1 hour to cool before putting in the fridge. Also, it will depend on what you are putting in the pot. If you are putting the skins in, then you should be getting some fat at the top when the liquid is fully cold. If all you are putting in is bones, then that is the gelatin from the bones. Not fat. It’s perfectly normal. When you heat it up, it will liquify.

  7. graciouspantry says:

    I think that would probably be okay. The not-so-clean ingredients are spread over the meat, not onto the bones.

  8. Making this as we speak. We just began juicing and I threw in the pulp from all those veggies that we juice and some rosemary and thyme. It smells so good!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Char – What a fabulous idea! You can freeze the pulp for future stocks as well.

  9. deb thomas says:

    I have read on several blogs where they reuse their bones up to 3 times just adding more ones to it each time. They use them and refreeze for later, then discard after the 2nd or 3rd time of using them. I have reused mine only twice. I make mine in the crock pot and turn it on high until it boils, leave it like that for 1 hr then turn it down to low and cook until it reduces to my desired strength. I don’t know why I let it boil for an hour, I just feel like I want any raw chicken to get cooked and not sit there on a lower heat for to long where it may or may not be able to grow some bacteria. It makes sense in my brain and gives me peace of mind, so this is how I do it. 😉 Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Deb – Sounds perfectly logical to me!

  10. To get the greatest benefit, add the packet of ‘innards’ to the bones. There are lots of minerals in those. Also, let the broth simmer VERY slowly for 18-24 hours. This will get more nutrients from the bones and makes a very healthy broth full of flavor.
    I get at least three meals for me and my husband from one bird, plus all the stock for other uses. Try using homemade stock instead of water to make rice, boil pasta, soups and stews. It makes everything tasty!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lolalo – Yes! Chicken stock is amazing for adding flavor!

  11. I do this with a rotisserie chicken and then use the broth to make the Cauliflower white sauce that is all over the internet. Basically I cook the cauliflower in some of the broth and then puree with my emulsion blender. It is AWESOME. I serve it on spaghetti squash & top with some of the chicken and a few other things I cooked separately like sauteed mushrooms, red onions, borccoli … there are so many options. Great way to use up some leftovers. Such a great lo carb, lo fat meal.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Pam – Sounds yummy! Nice tip!

  12. oops – broccoli. I also should have said that as pureeing the cauliflower to keep adding stock till it’s the thickness/thinness you want. I’ve seen posting where others have froze this although the used it within a couple weeks so I have no way of knowing how long it will freeze well.

  13. Is it safe to freeze broth in glass jars? I hate to use the ziplock bags because of all of the chemicals. And they leave a plasticky taste.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alissa – Some people do it, but there is an art to it. I know you can’t fill them all the way or they will crack and break. I would google “how to freeze in glass jars” and see what comes up. I don’t do it, so it’s hard for me to say.

  14. Hi! I just made this and it smells amazing! I didn’t have a pot big enough for 20 cups of water (water about 15 cups)- and what I have left over is quite concentrated. I’ve never made stock before so just wondering what I do now and how to use it 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Aja – You can freeze it once it has cooled, but it’s great for soups!

  15. I just started making my own stock and I love it! I’ve always discarded the veggies, etc. from the pot but was wondering if there was any reason why you couldn’t eat the carrots instead of throwing thm away.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lisa – You could certainly eat them as long as they haven’t been sitting out at all. Remember they are cooked in chicken broth so all the rules of meat storage apply. I’m just not sure what the flavor would be like.

  16. Silly question here. Do you use 5 pounds of actual bones or the bones from 5 pounds worth of chicken? Also do you happen to have a recipe for clean eating beef broth!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Haley – It would be from a 5 lb. chicken. Not 5 lbs. of bones. I don’t have one for beef, but it would be the same process.

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