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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Creamy White Chicken Chili
- Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta
- Chicken Tetrazzini
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- 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
- 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.
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I originally shared this recipe April 2019. Updated September 2021.