Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock via DeliciouslyOrganic.net

There’s no comparison between homemade chicken stock and stock poured out of a can. The flavors are much deeper, and the quality of nutrients far surpasses anything you’ll find wrapped in aluminum. Chicken stock serves as the foundation for many holiday recipes and while you may find it at the store, nothing beats the real thing.

While a whole chicken is preferable, a carcass works well too. Many times I roast a chicken, serve it for dinner, then use the carcass to make broth. It’s a small way to stretch your budget without sacrificing nutrition.

Now is a good time to cook up some stock so you’ll be ready for the festivities. Don’t be intimidated by a making your own stock. It’s quite simple. Put all the ingredients in a pot and simmer. That’s it!

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Homemade Chicken Stock

Serving Size: Makes approximately 2 quarts

Homemade Chicken Stock

If you like other herbs like sage or thyme in your chicken stock, feel free to add a few sprigs to the pot. I prefer simmering it for 24 hours to draw as many of the nutrients out of the chicken as possible. I usually make my pot of stock on the weekend when I’m home so I can let it simmer for a full day.


  • 1 (3-4 pound) chicken, preferably pastured

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 stalk celery

  • 1 large bunch parsley

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half

  • 1 large onion, cut into quarters (don't worry about peeling it)

  • 2 tablespoons Celtic sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar


Place all ingredients in large stockpot. Add just enough water to cover. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, about 30-60 minutes. Skim foam off the top, lower heat to low, then let simmer for 8 - 24 hours, with lid ajar.

Strain broth. Use the cooked chicken in soup, a casserole, salad, etc. After the broth is cool it should gelatinize, but don't be alarmed. This is a sign the nutrients were pulled out of the chicken. Store in the refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for 3 months.

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  1. Tonia

    I make a similar stock pretty regularly, but I don’t usually care for the texture of the boiled chicken meat. Two things that I have found it is very tasty for: barbeque chicken sandwiches (just heat the meat up with your favorite home made barbeque sauce & serve on a keiser roll or similar) and chicken encheladas (heat 1 block cream cheese or nufatchel cheese in a sauce pan with 1 cup salasa, then add chicken & black beans. Heat through, wrap mixture in tortillas & lay seam-side down in a pan. Cover with enchelada sauce and bake at 350 for 20 mins. Top with shredded cheddar & bake 5 mins more or until cheese is melted & bubbly). They arre both simple & delicious! :-)

      • Karen

        Be careful in the crockpot, in my case the liquid increased as it cooked, I ended up having to remove some of the liquid before it was done cooking. I prefer the stove top method, the broth was much thicker – gelatinized (healthier). ;o)

        I took some broth I had frozen to a sick elderly neighbor a month ago, she is still raving about it. Said it was the best tasting broth she has had in a long , long time. She ate it for lunch and dinner two days in a row and was feeling peppy and healthy.

  2. I do this with my crockpot. I usually wait until I have a carcass plus some extra other bones, or two carcasses. Just put it together before I leave for work and when I get home, there’s a nice pot of stock that just needs to be strained and refrigerated. Super easy and that’s one less thing I have to buy at the store! I portion mine into a silicone muffin pan and freeze, then pop them out and store in the freezer. The 1/3 cup portions makes it easy to throw into recipes as it is called for. And no added sodium!

  3. C

    My husband says I get more excited about making stock than I do the original meal (like Lisa Leake’s crock pot chicken). Never again will I buy canned/boxed stock after starting to make my own chicken, beef, and turkey stock a few months back. I’m currently patiently waiting on a ham hock to make ham stock.

    What are the other herbs in your photograph? Thank you.

  4. I love making chicken stock – feels so warm and cozy as the house fills with the aromas – I sometimes reduce it right down and freeze in an ice cube tray – then can add water to these concentrated blocks of chicken goodness when needed.

  5. I have some simmering on the stove now. I saw this post this morning and went straight to buy a chicken! My husband isn’t feeling well and this is just what he needs. So, if I simmer it overnight to draw out the nutrients, should I keep adding water to keep the chicken covered?

  6. I agree, it is all about the homemade chicken stock! That is the way I grew up. If we had a roast chicken for dinner, we would stretch it into leftovers and then make stock out of the carcass when there was nothing else left.

    By the way, I really like how you took that photo. It is tough to photograph raw chicken!

  7. I’ve made it twice, once from a whole chicken, and once from a carcass- I think I must be doing something wrong- I think that it tastes pretty bland. I use it anyway for the nutrition, but everywhere I look everyone says that it is supposed to taste SO MUCH BETTER. So, I’m frustrated- and the only thing I can think of is that I add too much water so maybe it is not flavored strong when I think it is finished??? I really wish I could taste someone else’s homemade stock to see what it is supposed to be like. Grrr.

  8. I love homemade stock! Random question for you…if you freeze your stock, what do you think about defrosting it (to use in a soup) then freezing that soup? The stock would essentially be frozen twice, and I am on the fence if I should be doing this or not. Thanks! :)

  9. Never used a whole chicken for homemade stock before…unbelievably yummy smelling in the kitchen right now:) I thought I might mention that a friend of mine who is a holistic health counselor says to wait to add sea salt until the very end. Salt restricts the release of collagen from the bones. However, because you’re using the whole chicken, I don’t know if that is a moot point. Just wondering! Thanks for the beautiful post Carrie! xo

  10. I think everyone should do homemade chicken stock it is simple and easy as you described, you can basically just put anything in a pot of water and you get a stock. However, you should try a few tweeks and i think it would give you a much better stock – always saute the vegetables for 5-10 minutes before you add any water or wine. Then instead of using 100% use 25% white wine and my secret ingredient is parsnip or even parsley root – gives awesome flavor to the stock.

  11. Al Robbins

    This is a wonderful version of what a chicken stock should be, and I add 10-12 whole peppercorns and a sprig of fresh rosemary when I make mine. I also use a couple or three more stalks of celery, but that is a personal taste thing I reckon. You can bottle it up hot in pint or quart jars and use it within a week or so. Has worked for me for several years now!

      • Marie

        Actually, Ball only recommends freezing in their straight-sided jars. So that would mean their wide mouth pint jars or their new wide mouth ones that I think are a pint and a half. But they do not have straight sided quart jars.

  12. Shelly Stroud

    This is making me “eye” the chickens running around outside near the hen house.. LOL … hmmmmm, might have to have the hubs bring me a fresh catch.. THe homemade stock sounds divine!!!

  13. Jennifer

    I skimmed the comments and didn’t see this, apologies if I missed. Is it ok to freeze bones and collect them overtime to use in stock? We eat a fair amount of bone in chicken but never enough to come up with 2-3 lb. I just wondered if there was a health reason not to freeze bones and use later?

  14. Brook

    Hi! Newly converted organic mom here with 2 teenage boys and a tween who thinks she is 25. Do you have stock recipes with other meats as well? I am looking for a good organic one for ham. I assume it would be similar but not so sure about the flavorings/herbs and spices. I am making red beans and rice (we are cajun!) and am trying to add that ham flavoring to the mix organically. Thanks!

    • Deliciously Organic

      I don’t have one published, but I’d look at the Weston Price website for additional stock recipes. Fyi, I have an organic spice blend in my cookbook that tastes so much like Tony’s! My Mom’s side of the family is Cajun so I grew up eating etoufee, red beans and rice, and gumbo. Yum!

  15. Hey, Carrie! I recently found you and am obsessed (my husband is also a pilot in the Air Force, so I feel like we have kindred spirits:) with your great recipes (your cookbook is on my Christmas list) I just made this stock yesterday-my first time making any sort of stock and followed the directions perfectly, only the amount of liquid I got was disappointing, only two or so cups! it was a 4 lb chicken, and I covered it with water before letting it simmer for 12 hours. is that normal? help!

    • Deliciously Organic

      Nice to meet another pilot wife! :) I think your stove is heating too hot when it’s on “simmer”. The stove in our current home is like that so I bought a flame tamer (they only cost a few dollars) and it lowered the temperature so the stock could just barely simmer for 12 hours. If you haven’t removed everything from the post, you can add more water and let it simmer a bit longer.

  16. I know this is an old post, but do you know what would be the reason my stock/broth does not gelatinize? I use the bones from a whole organic chicken and use a standard slow cooker for 24hours or so. More bones? Less water? Cook longer? Appreciate your thoughts. Oh, and it’s not a pastured chicken, but is organic, and the best affordable one I can find.

  17. Rachel

    This was my first time making chicken stock to store, I have boiled carcass and made soup right away, but never to store. So I used 6 chicken backs, from our freezer that I had from our last butcher day. They are simmering now, there is a separated layer that looks like oil from the water. Is this normal, because it seems a bit extreme to me. We are all sick, so I was doing this for wellness!! Now once finished, should we just drink it as it? I tried it and having the separate layer made it a bit strange for me, any thoughts, or am I on the right track? Thanks!

    • Deliciously Organic

      This is completely normal. You can skim some of the fat off and use it in your cooking, or stir it in. It’s personal preference. When I drink it straight, I add a bit of Celtic sea salt for extra flavor. My daughter likes to add a little plain yogurt. I hope you all feel well soon!

  18. Rose

    Question – My nutritionist also recommended me to make this and I only made it once and loved it!! I was so nervous about keeping my stove on for that long. I only lasted keeping it on the stove for 8 hours (while I was at home and turned it off when I had to run an errand). How do people keep the stove on for up to 24 hours?? I would be so nervous while I was sleeping or if I had to leave?? Is it safe to keep the stove on for so many hours? Thanks in advance for your reply!!!!

    • Deliciously Organic

      You can also make it in a crock pot. I do this quite a bit so that I can leave the house and such. I put all of the ingredients in the crock pot, cover with water and put on low for 24 hours. I’ve also left the stove on low overnight and haven’t had any issues. But of course, only do what you’re comfortable with. I hope that helps!

  19. Melissa

    Thanks for the super simple recipe! I got a whole stock chicken from my co-op and wasn’t sure what to do with it. I’m at home being sick and trying this out. I hope I didn’t mess anything up, when you say heat it on medium-low I didn’t set it to boil first, but figured that out later when it didn’t make any foam to skim. I think adding that it should boil first before lowering the heat will help for newbies like me!

    • Deliciously Organic

      I’ve learned that you only want to bring it to a low simmer because if not, many of the nutrients in the carcass will not be able to release into the broth. So, this is why the directions say to bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. I hope you feel better soon!

  20. Sharon Nagel

    Thanks Carrie! I have two questions. First, what does the vinegar do and what kind of vinegar do you recommend using? Second, some sites recommend skimming the top after the broth is chilled. But it seems you are a proponent of not skimming it because this is actually healthful? :-)

    • Deliciously Organic

      The vinegar helps the bones release the nutrients into the stock. I’m all for using the fat in the stock, so I don’t ever skim it after it’s been chilled. The fats contain all sorts of great nutrients!

      • Sharon Nagel

        I have been making this broth every week for five weeks. Every time I have a mug, my three-year-old asks for a mini mug of broth and drinks it with me. She has the flu today and I made her (why?!) some Lipton noodle soup out of habit. She took two sips and said, “No, Mommy. May I please have some better soup?” :-) I gave her the homemade stock and she was content.

  21. Marysya

    Hello! I’m sorry I did not read through all of the comments to see if this was asked. I did the broth using an organic whole young chicken (not a cornish hen, regular size) and after simmering for 10 hrs, had a delicious broth. However, when it cooled, it did not gelatinize. Does this mean the young bones are not are nutrient dense as an older chicken would be? I had a very thin layer of fat on top although the broth is unbelievably rich in flavor. I do, however want to get the best nutritional value and thus am wondering if I didn’t simmer enough or if it was in the chicken. Thanks in advance! Can’t wait to try the kombucha next!

  22. Marie

    I was wondering – once the stock is done – could the veggies be used for anything? We were thinking you could pull them out and puree them in the Vitamix and then add to dishes? Any reason not to?

    • Deliciously Organic

      I don’t see any reason not to. The only thing to consider is that they won’t have much flavor, but would be a nice addition to a pureed vegetable soup or something similar.

  23. Amber Mehta

    Hi Carrie!!
    I scanned the comments and didn’t see a question like this: I’ve been using this yummy recipe since May (thank you!!). However, another time as well as this moment when my chicken has been simmering for 20 hours now, my chicken meat is pink. It doesn’t look raw pink though. Have you had this happen before? It worries me a bit that it’s pink; but it’s also been in there for 20 hours fully covered in water/broth so it has to be done?


      • Amber Mehta

        Thank you, Carrie! The pink was mostly in the thighs. I went ahead and brought it back up to a boil (for about 5 minutes) – that took all the pink out. I think I will just boiled it a bit longer this weekend before bringing it to a simmer. Thanks again!

  24. Andrea Manor

    I noticed your cookbook recipe is different than this one. The cookbook calls for 1tsp of vinegar, this one calls for one tablespoon and adds two bay leaves. Do you think the larger amount of vinegar is preferable?

  25. Hey, Jude

    I’m asking because of the photo — do you cook the whole chicken WITH the skin on??? I usually remove the skin (all but the parts that are nearly impossible to remove, i.e., wings, ends of legs, etc.). I like my stock just fine, but am I losing some nutritive value by discarding most of the skin?

  26. Have always used carcass to make my stock but will definitely use whole chicken next time!!! Homemade stock is the absolute BEST! Make my own mayonnaise (10 minutes in blender/food processor – done!); recently made my own butter in blender from cream (what a hoot!). Firm believer in homemade foodstuffs. Also do homemade scones, bread, cakes, pies, etc. Much fun when you make things from scratch! Tastes sooooooo much better & usually better for you plus you know what it’s made from-you know what’s in it (no additives). Looking forward to making this stock with whole chicken. Thanks for this recipe & can’t wait to try your chocolate tarts!!!

  27. Karen

    Oh My Goodness! I made this last night for first time. I went easy on the garlic and omitted the parsley because I did not know what to expect flavor wise. I am in HEAVEN! The house smells divine! It was only simmering for 21 hours and the smell drove me WILD! I came home from shopping and it smelled more divine! Such an easy recipe too. I used the slow cooker method and…I only used a carcass from a free range chicken we cooked the previous night. I can only imagine the next batch I make with a whole chicken and all the garlic. I’m sold!!

  28. Karen

    Can you make home made stock that gelatinizes in the pressure cooker? I’ve made several batches and followed to a T, but both of my batches did not gelatinize. If I make a chicken normally it will gelatinize. I guess I need to order chicken feet?

    • Deliciously Organic

      A pressure cooker is a different cooking method than just simmering in a pot. It’s also not a traditional cooking method, so I don’t recommend it as I don’t believe you’ll get the same nutrients from the chicken as you would cooking it the traditional way. This might be why the pressure cooker broth doesn’t gelatinize.

  29. Christie

    I have enjoyed this recipe many times! It’s been a while since I made the stock so I started out making it tonight by memory then pulled the recipe for confirmation on the salt. I made a mistake and wondered if you’d let me know if the broth will be ok. I set the pot to boil on high, not medium low

    Thank you!


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