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:

Follow me for more great recipes

Recipe

A bowl with homemade chicken stock in it.
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 2 hours
Total 2 hours 15 minutes
Save Recipe

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: 22kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.04gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 32mgPotassium: 132mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2604IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 0.3mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @TastesBetterFromScratch on Instagram with #TastesBetterFromScratch!

Follow Me

Get recipe ideas weekly!

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

This post contains affiliate links.

Related Posts

Share Recipe

Categories

About The Author

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.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Lauren, can’t wait to make this. Can I put everything in the stock pot in the fridge overnight and put it on the stove top in the morning to simmer throughout the day until I’m ready to make the soup when I get home from work?

  2. I don’t get it…if I’m making homemade chicken stock…what is the better than bouillon doing in the recipe? I mean it’s a little ironic, isn’t this supposed to be better than better than bouillon? But ok whatever, I’ll try it…

  3. 5 stars
    Your site has been my guiding light as I learn to make all our meals from scratch! I made this stock per the recipe, and it was very flavorful. I used the first batch for chicken noodle soup (your recipe), and I am about to make this stock again for chicken and dumplings, plus some to freeze (I’m doubling the recipe).

    I did not experience a reduction in volume, as others have mentioned, after simmering for about 6 hours. I did keep it covered while simmering.

  4. 4 stars
    I used this as a general guide for making my first chicken stock and with a pre-roasted chicken carcass. I agree with others on increasing the amount of water. I used 12 cups of water (thanks to those who shared) and this yielded 8 cups of stock. I also eliminated any rosemary (too powerful) and substituted fresh thyme and Italian parsley and added couple of parsnips instead. Turned out pretty good.

  5. 5 stars
    I love the recipe but I always need to add more water. You should be covering the carcass and when I make this I need a minimum of 12 cups.

    1. 5 stars
      Yes, you can always substitute fresh herbs for dried. The flavor of fresh is often better but not as concentrated as dried. I like a 3:1 ratio of fresh to dried herbs, so if a recipe calls for a tsp of dried thyme, I would use a Tbsp of fresh thyme.

  6. I am making the broth in the instapot. I accidentally put the chicken bouillon in before it was cooked. How can I fix it?

  7. 5 stars
    I made the broth and used the 8 cups of water. I left it on the stove for about 2.5 hours. After removing everything and even pressing out the veggies I got maybe 5 cups of broth. Did I do something wrong?

    I added 32oz of stock from a box when I made the soup and it still has barely any broth. It tastes great, but I think I need to make another batch of broth.

    1. I thought the water amount was a flaw in the recipe also, I guessed too much would evaporate and put in 11-12 cups of water instead and looks like I will get 8-10 cups after simmering 2.5 hrs. Flavor is still great and can be tweaked when making the soup if you want it stronger. Also make sure you are bringing to a boil on med and simmering on low, high will cause much more to evaporate?

See More Comments