Chicken stock is easy to make from scratch! Homemade chicken stock can be used in just about anything and is essential in a cold-busting chicken noodle soup.
I’ve been holding onto this recipe all year.
Chicken stock is something I use all the time throughout the year. It’s not just in my fall and winter soups, it’s in my sauces, in my rice and risotto, braising my pork or chicken…it’s basically everywhere all the time.
But I know that people are looking for a great chicken stock recipe to use for the holiday season. And flu season, since bone broth has been such a big thing and is scientifically proven to help with colds.
This recipe makes a large amount of chicken stock full of delicious, cold-fighting, holiday-comforting goodness that lasts for four months in zip-top bags stored flat in the freezer.
Meaning make a double batch now so that all your holiday and flu season needs are met, y’all!
You know why chicken soup is so good for you? Not only because the soup itself helps loosen up all that crummy stuff making you cough, but also because of all the iron, collagen, and marrow that comes from the bones used in the chicken stock. And, of course, veggie vitamins and stuff, too.
That’s why stock comes out as that gelatin-texture when chilled: it’s the bones and all the good stuff in it. That’s why I always suggest making chicken stock at home so you get all the nutrients.
Carcasses and fresh chicken are acceptable, but everything is going into the oven to roast anyway. The veggies, the chicken, the bones, the feet, all of it is roasted to get those delicious deep flavors going. Which will then be in your stock as you simmer it.
Is roasting optional? Yes. But why would you not want a beautifully brown, well-seasoned, rich and flavorful roasted chicken broth?
I mean, if you want that very bright, light color for soup or something, then don’t roast. But I’m imploring that you try roasting the bones and meat and veggies and everything that goes into it.
I like to think of stock as a ‘I’m cleaning out the fridge’ type of thing. You can add all types of veg to it, not just the mirepoix of celery, onion, carrots. Leeks, fennel, parsnips, parsley, mushrooms, carrot tops, celery leaves, all kinds of good stuff add their own little notes of flavor to your stock, which might be what you’re looking for in your Thanksgiving gravy. Make sure to give the veggies a quick scrub and rinse before adding them to the sheet pan to roast.
Just be careful and don’t use anything too green like broccoli, spinach, artichoke, etc. Those sulfuric flavors are not what you’re looking for, trust me.
Okay, don’t get thrown off. Chicken stock is easy to make, I promise.
You start the stock in cold water. You throw everything into your stock pot, all the spices, the bay leaves, chicken carcass, leftover chicken meat. Bring it to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat.
You simmer uncovered, gently, for forever and a day over gentle heat.
You skim the top off frequently to remove the impurities.
You strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve. You might want to do it twice.
You quickly cool the stock down, then store it.
Then you skim the fat off the top of the cooled stock.
Boom, homemade real-life “omg, did you do that?” roasted chicken stock that will have nothing but good flavor and tons of confidence that you are ready to make your mom’s chicken noodle soup completely from scratch.
Can I use this chicken stock recipe for my Thanksgiving turkey recipes? Can I replace the chicken with turkey instead?
Absolutely. In fact, you can replace all the chicken parts in this chicken stock recipe with bony, cartilage-filled pieces like turkey wings, turkey necks, turkey backbones, turkey legs, all those good, often times overlooked, pieces.
Why are we roasting chicken for chicken stock? Do I have to roast them?
Do you have to roast the chicken? No. You can simply simmer the chicken in the stockpot with everything else.
Why are we roasting them? Roasting your chicken gives a deeper, richer flavor. It also gives it a darker color, so if that’s not something you want you can just skip roasting the bones.
Can I just use chicken meat to make chicken stock?
Yes, but that would be chicken broth, not a chicken stock. Stock has more nutrients in it from the bones themselves, and collagen from the bones and cartilage which is good for you all around. I like to use both, so I often buy chicken pieces just for stock.
Can I use a rotisserie chicken for this?
Yes you can. Eat your fill then throw that carcass in the pot. Stock does not need meat in it.
So what do I do with the meat after I make the chicken stock?
I say shred it up and use it in one of my favorite soup recipes. Our particular favorite this year is creamy chicken tomato tortellini soup. If you’ve never tried it, you need to. It’s a definite win in this house.
What can you use chicken stock in? Well check these recipes out!
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- 4 pounds bony chicken pieces, legs, wings, feet, necks and/or back bones
- 2 celery ribs with leaves, cut into chunks
- 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 medium onions, quartered, skin left on
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp regular olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried ground sage
- 8 to 10 whole peppercorns
- 3 quarts cold water
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (220 degrees C).
- Arrange the chicken, carrots, celery, garlic and onion in a roasting pan large enough to hold them in one layer; drizzle all those components with the oil and season well with salt and ground pepper. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until the skin on the chicken is golden brown.
- Combine the roasted chicken and veggies with the peppercorns and herbs in a large stockpot. Add the cold water to the pot and bring to a lively simmer over medium heat. Then reduce the heat to medium low, letting the stock simmer gently; partially cover and cook for anywhere from 3 hours to 8 hours.
- As foam and fat rise to the top, skim it off using a spoon. Repeat every so often.
- Taste, and add salt and ground black pepper, as needed. If using, add juice of lemon.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken, allowing stock to drain back into the pot. You can reserve the chicken for other dishes; it will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3 days.
- Strain the stock in a mesh sieve and cheesecloth, discarding the remaining vegetable solids, and cool in a bowl in the fridge covered in plastic wrap. Let chill for 8 hours to overnight, then skim the excess fat that has chilled and risen to the top and discard it.
- Freeze stock flat in freezer-safe zip-top bags, it'll last for four months in the freezer. Otherwise keep it in a covered container for 4-5 days in the fridge.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.