Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

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4.91 from 11 votes
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Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe – Learn how to make homemade chicken stock in just a few easy steps! Slow Cooker, Instant Pot and Stovetop Instructions included!

Looking for more homemade staple recipes? I think you’ll love my homemade buttermilk substitute, how to make self-rising flour, and homemade taco seasoning mix.

Chicken stock in ball canning jars on a wooden counter.

Homemade chicken stock is one of those essential recipes that is so easy to make you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making it all along! Full of nutrients, you’ll love the flavor this homemade chicken stock adds to soups, stews, and anything else you cook with it!

There are a few methods that I’ve found to cook it depending on your preference, the amount of time you have on hand to attend to it, and the chicken you have available for making stock.

Slow cooker, canning jars, and ladle on a quartz countertop.

You’ll find me regularly “restocking” our chicken stock supplies using one of the following three methods depending on the amount of time that I have available. My Grandmother always had her chicken stock simmering away on the stove, while I lean more on using my slow cooker and Instant Pot (pressure cooker). All three ways result in delicious, nutritious chicken stock that I prefer to use in my recipes.

Ingredients

Chicken

I prefer to use the whole chicken method for making my chicken stock. I feel like I’m accomplishing two tasks at once by not only making quarts of my chicken stock but also preparing a whole chicken to be used in any number of recipes throughout the week.

For my chicken, I prefer a four to five-pound organic, free-range chicken, if possible. If a whole chicken is not available, you can use the same weight of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces such as breasts, thighs, legs, etc.

You can make chicken stock from the bones of a leftover roast chicken, store-bought or homemade rotisserie chicken, or chicken bones you store in the freezer as you cook.

Water

You’ll need enough fresh water to cover the chicken and other ingredients completely. During cooking, especially on the stovetop, you must check your stock and add water as needed.

Vegetables (Optional)

I also like to add fragrant vegetables and herbs to the stock to make it even more flavorful. However, when making with the Instant Pot, I have found it best to make your chicken stock without adding anything other than the chicken and water. This is also perfectly okay when making with any of the three methods.

Seasonings (Optional)

The only seasonings I like to add to my chicken stock are salt, black pepper, and thyme, and at times, I even omit those so that I have unsalted chicken stock on hand to use in recipes without any additional flavorings.

How to Make Chicken Stock

Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

(4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low setting)

Add chicken to the slow cooker along with vegetables and herbs (if using). Cover the chicken with fresh, cold water Set the timer for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

My slow cooker automatically converts to the warm setting once the time has expired, so I’ll often make my chicken stock overnight if I have time to transfer it in the morning.

Still, my favorite way is to let it cook while I’m working or running errands throughout the day.

Stovetop Chicken Stock

(4 hours)

Add chicken, vegetables, and herbs (if using) to a large stockpot set over medium-low heat. Cover the chicken with fresh, cold water and keep it covered with water throughout the cooking process.

Instant Pot Chicken Stock

(25 minutes on High pressure with natural release)

Add the chicken to the interior pot. Fill the pot with fresh, cold water to the 10-cup line shown on the side of the interior pot.

I’ve found that the vegetable and herb flavors become more pronounced when making chicken stock under pressure. I recommend omitting them when making with this method.

Chicken stock in a ball canning jar with a coffee filter on top with ring lid.

Once the chicken stock has been cooked, I allow it to cool slightly and then remove the chicken from the stock and strain away the vegetables and herbs, if using.

Three ball canning jars filled with homemade chicken stock on a quartz countertop with a slow cooker in the background.

Make Ahead and Freezer Instructions

To store. Cool the chicken stock and store it in the refrigerator in airtight containers for up to a week. I prefer to use glass Mason jars, as shown.

To freeze. Store cooled chicken stock in freezer-safe containers in the freezer for up to a year.

To freeze smaller portions. Pour the cooled stock into ice cube trays and freeze until well hardened. Then the frozen cubes to a freezer-safe container. Being able to quickly add a cube of chicken stock to dishes as they cook adds so much flavor!

What’s the Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth?

There is one major difference between chicken stock and chicken broth. Chicken stock is traditionally made from chicken bones, while chicken broth is from the meat. Both chicken stock and chicken broth may or may not include vegetables and herbs when made.

Chicken stock is generally thicker than chicken broth as it contains more collagen derived from the bones.

How To Make Chicken Broth

Follow the recipe using chicken meat without bones. Cook until the chicken reaches 165º F when checked with an internal thermometer. Separate the chicken from the broth. Store the broth as mentioned in the Make Ahead and Freezer Instructions section.

Here’s how my Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

4.91 from 11 votes
Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe – Learn how to make homemade chicken stock in just a few easy steps! Slow Cooker, Instant Pot and Stovetop Instructions included!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 12 cups

Ingredients 

  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) chicken, , organic whole chicken or equal amounts of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, quartered
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into large pieces
  • 2 carrots, cut into large pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 thyme, , fresh
  • water

Instructions 

Slow Cooker (4 hrs on High setting or 8 hrs on Low setting)

  • Place chicken in 6-quart slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, thyme and cover with water, about 4 – 5 quarts. Cover and cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low settings. Remove chicken from stock and use for other recipes. Strain vegetables from stock and discard.

Stove (4 hrs)

  • Place chicken in large stockpot. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, thyme and cover with water, about 4 – 5 quarts Cook on low simmer, covered for 4 hours. Add more water if needed to keep chicken covered with water while cooking. Remove chicken from stock and refrigerate for future recipes. Strain vegetables from stock and discard.

Instant Pot (25 minutes + natural release)

  • Place chicken in Instant Pot. Omit adding vegetables and herbs. Add fresh, cold water to the 10-cup line on the inside of the interior pot of the Instant Pot. Cook 25 minutes at high pressure. Let pressure release naturally. Remove chicken from stock and refrigerate for future recipes.
  • Allow stock to cool, and store in freezer-safe, airtight containers. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Stock will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer up to 1 year.

Notes

Makes 3 quarts.
You can also use leftover chicken bones for your stock. Use in place of the whole chicken in this recipe.
Make-Ahead:
Store homemade chicken stock in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 
Freezer Friendly:
Store homemade chicken stock in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Additionally, you can portion your homemade chicken stock into ice cube trays and freeze. Then, transfer the frozen chicken stock cubes to a freezer-safe, zip top bag and freeze for up to 3 month. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cup | Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 394mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1730IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe - Learn how to make homemade chicken stock in just a few easy steps! Slow Cooker, Instant Pot and Stovetop Instructions included! // addapinch.com

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Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review




47 Comments

  1. Corrie Duffy says:

    5 stars
    In your directions for Instant Pot you say you omit the vegies and herbs because their flavors get too strong? Is it really that big of a difference or is it just a preference thing? I imagine the flavor of stock made with veggies and without would be quite different even if you do it the long slow cook top method. If I wanted to try the Instant Pot method with the veggies should I change anything about the directions?

  2. Warren Taylor says:

    Hi Robyn:

    Do you put the chicken in whole or do you cut it up?

    Thank You

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Warren,
      I put my chicken in whole. If your chicken is too large to fit in, then I would cut it up as needed. I hope that helps! xo

    2. Warren E Taylor says:

      Yes it does Robyn and Thank You.

    3. Robyn Stone says:

      Great!

  3. Suzanna Wing says:

    4 stars
    I’ve been making my own broth for years and years, and like you, learned from my mother and grandmother. Actually, it’s a staple Hungarian thing that all Hungarian cooks make regularly. I make mine in a similar way as you… on the stove top. I’m wondering though how you get so much broth from one chicken. I put my whole chicken, cut up, in a stock pot and just cover the meat with water by one inch . I add carrots, celery, onion, parsnips and garlic (lots of garlic for this garlic lover). Depending on what I have in the house I may also add half a bell pepper, a piece of cauliflower, kohlrabi, snap peas (just a teeny bit of each goes a long way and doesn’t turn this into a vegetable soup), I add only salt and peppercorns in addition to the vegetables. I bring it to a boil and immediately reduce the heat, even pulling off the burner to stop the boiling. I slow simmer (bubbles barely popping above the surface) for at least two hours, skimming off the foam as it appears. I simply use a tea strainer and a small ladle… ladle the soup and foam right into the strainer over the pot. That way I don’t lose any broth but get rid of the foam. From one chicken I get about a liter (or about 4 cups) of flavourful broth. IF I were to add more water the broth would be weak. What is your secret? ((PS… I wanted to rate this recipe with 5 stars but it wouldn’t let me do more than 4)

  4. Denise says:

    I would love to see more recipes using your pressure cooker. I don’t have an Instant Pot but I have another brand and just need some simple, down-to-earth basic recipes that my “meat and potatoes” family will eat. I’ve done a few things but am a little intimidated by it, 🙂 .
    And do you make bone broth? I’ve been reading so much about all the uses and benefits and would love to hear how you make yours.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Denise –
      I love using my Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot too! Here’s a link to my pressure cooker/instant pot recipes and I have more to come!
      My Homemade Chicken Stock, that I learned from my Grandmother and Mother, is very, very similar if not the same, to the modern “bone broth”. I shared my Homemade Chicken Stock recently and three methods to make it – Instant Pot, Slow Cooker and Stovetop. It is delicious and I hope you enjoy it!
      I don’t know if you are subscribed to my emails or not, but that way you’ll know when I post new recipes that may interest you.
      I hope this helps! Thanks so much! xo

  5. Debra Wood says:

    5 stars
    What is the purpose of the coffee filter in the mason jar?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Debra,
      When I strain away the vegetables, herbs and chicken, there are still bits of vegetable and chicken that remain in the stock. Usually for cooking, I do a simple strain through a colander or just use a large slotted spoon to remove these items before putting into my containers. If I plan to use a portion of my chicken stock for a clear soup for eating or drinking (as a bone type broth), I like to strain again through a very fine mesh strainer, a coffee filter or a double layer of cheesecloth. I hope that helps! xo

  6. Sara says:

    5 stars
    I’ve only made my own chicken broth when I’m making Chicken & Dumplings but I found that tying all the seasonings in a piece of cheesecloth & tying it to the handle of the pot works well. I just untie it & pull it out of the pot. Also saves a few minutes but leaves the flavors in the broth. I love your column & look forward to it everyday. I’ve also made several of your recipes. Thanks for being there.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Sara –
      What a great tip! I’m so happy you enjoy the site and hope that you continue to find many recipes that you enjoy! Thank you so much for all of your support! xo

  7. KimmiLou says:

    Robin,
    I thought the cooks of yesteryear were long gone.. however, I am afraid one day most stay-at home-moms who cook like this will come near extinction. I too cook and make my own broths, brown sugar, butter, buttermilk, etc.. I too like to know what is in the food I feed my family. I also just enjoy making them. My husband loves knowing that every once of those biscuits or pasta comes fresh and all homemade.
    I am tickled to run across your site today.. (I made an earlier post on preparation for pork loin roast). I love trying new ideas and keeping thinks spiced up at home in the kitchen.
    I am blessed to be able to stay at home with my family as i have t throughout the years. I raise my glass to you!
    -wife of a retired army veteran (25 yrs)
    God bless you!

    1. KimmiLou says:

      “”Robyn””.. sorry for the misspelling.

  8. Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction says:

    Robyn,
    My family never made chicken stock or soup so I’m thrilled to see this recipe. Pinned.
    Annamaria

  9. Kim Honeycutt says:

    Thanks Robyn! I agree with Liz…you were so lucky! I wish I had learned from mine! Thanks for all you share so people like me can still learn! Pinning it!

  10. Liz says:

    Thanks Robyn. You were so lucky to have your grandmother and mother show you this recipe. It’s wonderful and I will try it myself. Have a Great Week!