How to Make Chicken Stock from Scratch

How to make your own chicken broth.

Have you ever noticed how many recipes call for chicken broth? It's crazy! So many of my favorite recipes do.

So do I buy a case of chicken broth in cans or waxed paper cartons? No.

When I have a recipe that calls for chicken broth or stock, I take a pint jar out of the cupboard or out of the freezer.

In other words, I make chicken stock from scratch. It tastes so much better than the stuff from a can or a carton!

This post contains affiliate links; if you click on a link and make a purchase I might make a small commission but it doesn't affect the price you pay. Read my disclosure here.

And while it might take longer to make than running to the store, you really don't have to do much during that time. Other than dumping the ingredients into a pot and straining it when it's finished, you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want.

Of course, I wouldn't leave the house while it's simmering on the stove, so just plan this for a day when you're home anyway. Safety first, right?

Whether you call it chicken stock, chicken broth or chicken bone broth, it's pretty much the same thing. The difference between stock and broth is slight: stock is made from mostly bones, and broth is made from mostly meat. Stock usually has a richer taste, and when it cools it's very gelatinous from those long-simmered bones.

You can use stock, broth or bone broth interchangeably in recipes. If a recipe calls for stock but you have broth, use it instead.

How to make your own chicken stock

You'll need:
chicken bones or a chicken carcass
carrots, onions, celery, etc. (optional but recommended!)

Add the bones or chicken carcass to a stockpot and cover with water. If you're using vegetables, chop those and add to the pot.

Bring the pot to a boil, then cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and let it cook all day.

Yes, that's basically all there is to it!

If you prefer, you can use a Crock Pot instead of a stockpot on the stove. The stockpot holds more and can make a larger batch of stock, but a slow-cooker doesn't need quite as much babysitting. Not that a stockpot requires much attention either, really. It's totally up to you.

Oh, you wanted amounts? How many bones and cups of carrots, how much water? I don't measure. I use the bones from one chicken and enough water to cover them. Roast chicken, baked chicken, fried chicken... it doesn't matter.

For deeper, richer flavor, add a variety of vegetables to your chicken stock or broth.

As for the vegetables, when I prepare carrots, onions and celery for another dish, I throw the carrot peels, the onion skins and the celery tops with all the leaves into freezer bags and store them on a certain shelf of the freezer. You can freeze bits of leftover vegetables from dinner in the bag too: corn, peas and others.

When I want to make stock, I just add several handfuls of a variety of the vegetable scraps to the pot.

Those onion skins help give your stock that deep, golden color. Add a couple of cloves of garlic and maybe a tomato if you have one. Or two.

If we have roast chicken for dinner but I'm not ready to make stock, I put the carcass in the freezer for later. The bag will inevitably contain bits of meat, skin, and any drippings from the roasting pan too. It's true, my freezer always has a few bags of bones and of vegetable scraps. Hubby says that's weird.

Here's something else that's weird: the last time I wandered through the meat department at the grocery store, I noticed chicken feet for sale. Cleaned, peeled chicken feet. In case you didn't know this, chicken feet make some of the best chicken stock ever. They contain a large amount of gelatin, which is really good for you. According to Medical News Today, gelatin can improve the health of your skin, promote hair growth, ease joint pain, and more.

Click here to subscribe to The Acorn, Oak Hill Homestead's weekly-ish newsletter.

Herbs are a delicious addition to your chicken stock. Add fresh or dried rosemary, parsley, thyme or other herbs you might have in the refrigerator or in the garden. You can add salt and pepper now, or wait until you use the stock in a recipe.

After simmering for several hours, remove the bones and vegetables from the pot, then strain the liquid. If desired, strain it again through a cotton cloth.

Three ways to preserve chicken stock

After straining the stock, you can use it right away in a recipe, or:

Freeze or can chicken stock in quantities you use most often: quarts, pints or one-cup amounts. If you need a larger amount for a recipe, use more than one container.

Now that you know how easy it is to make your own chicken stock, I hope you'll give it a try. Use it to replace the water when you make rice, make some delicious broccoli and cheddar soup, or any soup recipe that uses chicken stock or broth. Remember, you can use broth or stock interchangeably.

It's just as simple to make your own beef stock too.

This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure here.

How to make chicken broth from scratch.

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


My mission is to inspire and encourage you to live a simple, joyful life,
no matter your circumstances or where you live. Join me here:
Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram
Subscribe and receive your free ebook, How to Make Vinegar for Pennies


  1. Love your blog - especially that you started homesteading from scratch in your 40's. My husband and I got our first real piece of dirt (1 acre) when I was 56! I'm starting from scratch, trying to learn more about the homesteading lifestyle as I go. Right now I have chickens for eggs and a garden (I'm not a very good gardener, but learning). Oh and I like your name! :)


    1. Kathi, it's so good to meet you! Good for you, starting when you were 56. Gardening is something you learn and perfect, so I promise you'll get better. I'm tickled that we share the same name. :-)


Thank you for stopping by. I hope you will leave a comment - I would love to hear from you. If you wish to email me instead, please click here. Thank you!