An easy, step-by-step tutorial for how to make Chicken Stock on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. Making homemade Chicken Stock is the gateway to taking any broth-based recipe to the next level; the flavor is incomparable and you will never buy store-bought again!

A bowl with homemade chicken stock in it.

Why I make my own stock:

  • Healthy and flavorful: Simmering bones to make stock has next-level depth of flavor that you can’t get from chicken broth or store-bought stock and it takes any recipe to the next level! Also, I love knowing and controlling exactly what’s in my stock.
  • Easy: I grab a rotisserie chicken from Costco for $5 and feel good that I can use the meat in several different recipes, and instead of wasting the carcass, I use it to make healthy and flavorful homemade broth!

Difference Between Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock:

The biggest difference between the two is chicken broth is made from simmering the meat and vegetables, and chicken stock is made from simmering the bones, which removes extra flavor and collagen from the bones (which is why stock has a jello-like texture when it’s refrigerated).

You can use stock and broth interchangeably in most recipes, but chicken stock has richer depth of flavor and is highly preferred for recipes where it’s the “star”, like in chicken noodle soup. In my opinion, it’s hugely worth it to make chicken stock from scratch!

How to make Chicken Stock:

Remove Meat from the rotisserie chicken. Place meat in a covered container in the fridge to add to the soup later, or freeze chicken meat for up to 3 months.

Add leftover bones and skin from the rotisserie chicken to a large stockpot. Add carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and water.

Chicken bones, carrot, celery, onion and spices in a pot with water being added.

Bring mixture to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer on low for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours, for even richer flavor.

A stockpot full of chicken bones, vegetables and herbs cooked together to make homemade chicken stock.

Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer, discarding bones, vegetables, and seasonings so you are only left with a clear, smooth stock. Stir in chicken bouillon.

The ingredients for chicken stock being strained into a bowl.

Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Use to make homemade chicken noodle soup!

Storage and Freezing Instructions:

To Store: Refrigerate the stock for use within 3-4 days. (Note that it will take on a gelatin-like texture in the fridge, but will liquidize once warmed again). After refrigerating, skim off any fat that rises to the surface.

To Freeze: Measure out the stock in freezer safe bags in batches of two cups each. This way, when you pull one out, you know there is exactly 2 cups of homemade chicken stock!

A ladle full of homemade chicken stock.

Instant Pot Chicken Stock:

Place chicken bones and skin, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and water into Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release.

Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer, discarding bones, vegetables, and seasonings so you are only left with a clear, smooth broth. Stir in chicken bouillon. Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipes with Chicken Stock:

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Recipe

A bowl with homemade chicken stock in it.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Total 2 hrs 15 mins

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 rotisserie chicken , meat removed so you're only left with bones and skin
  • 2 ribs celery , with leaves, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium carrots , cut into chunks
  • 2 medium onions , cut into chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 2 Tablespoons Better than bouillon chicken paste* , or 6 chicken bouillon cubes

Instructions
 

  • Place rotisserie chicken, vegetables, spices and water into a large soup pot. 
  • Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.  
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours or longer.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  • Strain stock through a fine sieve strainer, discarding all vegetables and seasonings so you are only left with the stock. Season with chicken boullion paste, to taste. 
  • Store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Skim off the fat that rises to the top. If not using within a few days, freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

Yields about 8 cups of stock.
Better than Bouillon Chicken*: I absolutely love this stuff and always use it to enhance the flavors of my stock. You can omit it, if you want. 
Storing Instructions: Refrigerate the stock for use within 3-4 days. (Note that it will take on a gelatin-like texture in the fridge, but will liquidize once warmed again). After refrigerating, skim off any fat that rises to the surface.
Freezing Instructions: Measure out the stock in freezer safe bags in batches of two cups each. This way, when you pull one out, you know there is exactly 2 cups of homemade chicken stock!
Instant Pot Chicken Stock: Place chicken bones and skin, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and water into Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release, then strain and discard bones and vegetables. Stir in chicken bouillon.

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 5gFat: 1gSodium: 234mgPotassium: 1052mgFiber: 10gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 20795IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 212mgIron: 2.4mg

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I originally shared this recipe April 2019. Updated September 2021.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Accidentally put the “Better than Boullion” in before putting it on to simmer. Oops! This looks amazing, and will be the base for a Chicken, Andouille, Shrimp gumbo tonight! Thank you for the recipe.

  2. Just wondering if I could leave the veggies in the bone broth for Chicken Noodle Soup? The recipe says to throw them out.

  3. Hello Lauren. I have an IP that I have not used yet. I want to make the chicken stock/broth in it. I have the 8qt duo. Do you know if I can double the recipe or do you think I should just make multiple batches? Thank you for your help. I love your recipes. Sam
    I make as much from scratch that I can, Beans etc.

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