How to Make Chicken Stock

5 from 3 votes

Learn how to make this easy homemade chicken stock recipe on the stovetop or in your Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker - with storage tips & freezing instructions

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Here’s how to make simple, homemade chicken stock with a chicken carcass (hello, supermarket rotisserie leftovers!) and a few kitchen staples. I guarantee homemade stock will amp up the flavor in your soups, grain dishes, and anywhere else you use stock/broth. I’ll show you how to make it on the stovetop and instant pot.

Cooled stock in a glass mason jar

What is chicken stock?

Chicken stock is made from vegetables and chicken bones – cooked or uncooked, meat and skin attached are okay – long-simmered with water to create a rich, flavorful base.

Stock vs. broth

Many use the terms interchangeably, but they are different. They both contain chicken and vegetables, typically the standard mirepoix mix of onions, carrots, and celery. But stock always includes chicken bones. When cooked long and slow, the bones yield up their gelatin and collagen giving the stock a rich, smooth texture.

Also, another notable difference is that stock is unsalted while, broth is a flavored, seasoned, sippable soup.

Stock uses

Chicken stock is the cornerstone of so many recipes. It is the liquid ingredient in many soups; makes a flavor-packed sub for water when cooking grains like rice and quinoa; and can also be used in stews, curries, and gravies.

How to make chicken stock

Stovetop cooking instructions

  1. Place the vegetables and herbs in a stock pot.
  2. Place the chicken bones on top.
  3. Add the cold water and slowly bring to a simmer, skimming off any brown foam. Note: You want to cover at least three-quarters of your bones and veggies, so your eyeballs are as important as the measuring cup.
  4. Once the stock has come to simmer, continue to cook covered on a low burner for four hours.
Step by step shots for how to cook chicken stock on stovetop

After a few hours, you’ll notice the water color will change, the carcass and the vegetables will soften. Then, the stock is pretty much ready to strain and use.

Completed chicken stock after cooking

Cool and strain the stock using a fine mesh strainer. You should have about 4 cups of stock.

Straining the stock from a pot

Instant Pot/pressure cooker instructions

  1. Place vegetables and herbs in the Instant Pot.
  2. Place chicken bones on top. It’s okay if meat and skin are attached to the bones but do not leave on too much fat.
  3. Add the cold water. You want to cover your vegetables and bones by at least three-quarters. Make sure you are adding enough water so you do not get a burn message on your Instant Pot.
  4. Seal the lid and select high pressure for 20 minutes or use the stock setting on the pressure cooker.
Step by step shots for how to cook chicken stock on instapot

This may be slightly different if you’re using another pressure cooker, but it’s a similar idea.

Cooking chicken stock in instapot

Once the time is up, release pressure naturally.

Completed stock after cooking in instapot

Cool and strain the stock into a glass container or right into a recipe, if needed.

Straining the stock from the instapot

Recipes with chicken stock

Tips for making homemade stock

  1. Do not add salt. You want to be able to control the salinity of the recipe that the stock is added to, so it’s best to leave it unsalted.
  2. Vary up the herbs and spices to make it your own way. For instance, season with oregano and thyme if you know your stock is destined for a Mediterranean bean soup. Likewise, for Asian flavors, you can add fresh ginger.
  3. De-fat the chicken stock by refrigerating overnight. Then you can skim off the solidified fat on top before using in a recipe or freezing.
  4. Add more flavor by sauteing or roasting the vegetables beforehand. I don’t usually do this step, but it does help to boost the flavor if you’d like.

Frequently asked questions

How do you store chicken stock?

Stock can be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer, in any appropriate container. To keep small amounts handy, consider freezing in ice cube trays and then transferring cubes to freezer bags.

How long does it last?

The general rule is four days in the fridge and six months in the freezer.

Are there any veggies that do not work in stock?

The Joy of Cooking advises against using potatoes (which would thicken the stock) and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, which can leave “an undesirably sulfurous note. ”

Can I make chicken stock with other chicken parts?

Yes! Try using chicken wings or a mix of various bones, the carcass, and other parts.

Should I brown my chicken parts/bones before making stock?

Stock made with bones that have been roasted or browned first is called brown stock and has a richer flavor than regular stock. You can certainly do that beforehand.

The first time I made soup with homemade stock from chicken bones, I could not believe how delicious and easy it was. Give it a try and let me know it goes.

For more cooking tutorials, check out:

If you’ve found this cooking resource for How to Make Chicken Stock helpful or if you’ve tried any recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience with this technique. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

How to Make Chicken Stock

Learn how to make this easy homemade chicken stock recipe on the stovetop or in your Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker – with storage tips & freezing instructions
5 from 3 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Ingredient
Calories 11
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 chicken carcass cut smaller with a cleaver (Cutting is optional)
  • ½ white onion cut in large pieces
  • ½ carrot cut in large pieces
  • 1 celery rib cut in four pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs herbs thyme, parsley, tarragon, etc.
  • 6 cups cold water or enough to cover ¾ of the bones and vegetables

Instructions

Stovetop Method

  • Place vegetables and herbs in a stock pot, then place the chicken bones on top.
  • Add the cold water.
  • Slowly bring the stock to a simmer, skim any fat or foam that comes to the surface.
  • Once the stock has come to a simmer, continue to cook covered for 4 hours.
  • Cool and strain the stock. Makes about 4 cups.

Instapot Method (pressure cook)

  • Place vegetables and herbs in the Instapot, then place the chicken bones on top.
  • Add the cold water.
  • Seal the lid and select High Pressure for 20 minutes or use the stock setting on the pressure cooker.
  • Once the time is up, release pressure naturally.
  • Cool and strain the stock. Makes about 4 cups.

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last up to 4 days in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.
Freezing Instructions: To keep small amounts handy, consider freezing in ice cube trays and then transferring cubes to freezer bags.
Nutritional Data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific type of quinoa you use.
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen

Nutrition

Calories: 11kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 25mg, Potassium: 55mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1357IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg

Share this recipe

Share it with the world! Mention @feelgoodfoodie or tag #feelgoodfoodie!

Cooled stock in a glass mason jar

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Very helpful thank you Yumna! I just want to highlight the importance of adding 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar that will help release the collagen and nutrients from the bones