Easy Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

Easy Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

Discover the secret to restaurant-quality soups and sauces with this simple, versatile chicken stock recipe. Perfect for enhancing countless dishes!

Unlocking the Power of Homemade Chicken Stock

Ever wondered why restaurant broths taste so rich and complex? The answer lies in their secret weapon: homemade chicken stock. This foundational ingredient can elevate your cooking to new heights, adding depth and flavor to countless dishes.

Our recipe focuses on creating a versatile, all-purpose stock with a clean chicken flavor and satisfying body. We’ll explore the best ingredients and techniques to achieve restaurant-quality results in your own kitchen, without any fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients.

The Building Blocks of Exceptional Chicken Stock

Creating a stellar chicken stock is simpler than you might think. Let’s break down the key components:

  • Chicken: The star of the show, providing flavor and body
  • Aromatic vegetables: Onions, carrots, celery, and garlic for depth and complexity
  • Herbs: Parsley for a fresh, clean taste
  • Water: The canvas for our flavorful creation

By carefully selecting and preparing these ingredients, we’ll create a stock that’s both delicious and versatile.

Choosing the Right Chicken Parts

Contrary to popular belief, different chicken parts contribute unique qualities to your stock:

  • Chicken breast: Produces the cleanest, most intense chicken flavor, but lacks body
  • Wings: Offer a good balance of flavor and gelatin for improved texture
  • Bones: Contribute richness and depth
  • Whole chicken: Provides a well-rounded flavor profile

For the best balance of flavor, texture, and cost-effectiveness, we recommend using a combination of wings, bones, and some white meat if possible.

Maximizing Flavor from Aromatics

Our tests revealed that diced aromatics added directly to the pot produced the best results. This method extracts maximum flavor while maintaining a clean, fresh taste. Avoid sautéing the vegetables beforehand, as this can lead to an overcooked, murky flavor.

The Skimming Myth: Debunked

Good news for busy cooks: constant skimming isn’t necessary for a clear, flavorful stock. By maintaining a gentle simmer and using a fine-mesh strainer, you can achieve excellent results without hovering over the pot. Remove any excess fat after chilling for the best flavor and clarity.

Perfect Proportions and Cooking Time

For a rich, flavorful stock, aim for at least 1 pound of chicken per quart of water. Increase the chicken ratio for an even more robust result. Our recipe suggests 4-8 pounds of chicken for 4 quarts of water, allowing you to adjust based on your preferences and available ingredients.

A cooking time of 1.5 hours strikes the ideal balance between flavor extraction and convenience. This timeframe yields a delicious stock without requiring an entire day in the kitchen.

Basic Chicken Stock Recipe


  • 4 to 8 pounds (1.8 to 3.6kg) chicken parts, such as wings, bones, breasts, and legs (see note)
  • 4 quarts (3.8L) water
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 4 large carrots, diced
  • 4 large celery ribs, diced
  • 8 crushed medium cloves garlic
  • 2 large sprigs parsley (see note)
  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin, dissolved in 1/2 cup (120ml) cold water (optional; see note)


  1. In a large stockpot, combine the chicken, water, diced onions, carrots, celery, crushed garlic, and parsley sprigs.
  2. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over low heat. Adjust the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  3. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a large container or bowl.
  4. Allow the stock to cool at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill completely (about 6 hours).
  5. Once chilled, skim off and discard any fat or scum from the surface of the stock.
  6. If the stock seems thin after chilling, stir in the optional gelatin solution and bring to a boil until fully dissolved. Chill again before using.
  7. Store the stock in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.

Recipe Notes

  • Chicken quantity: 4 pounds is the minimum for good flavor. Using up to 8 pounds will result in an even richer stock.
  • Chicken parts: Different parts contribute unique qualities. Wings provide gelatin, while breast meat offers clean flavor. Use a mix for best results.
  • Herbs: Feel free to add other herbs like fresh thyme or bay leaves for additional flavor complexity.
  • Gelatin: If your stock is thin after chilling, add the gelatin solution as instructed for improved body.

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 281
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 192mg 64%
Sodium 165mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 36g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 31mg 2%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 418mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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