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Multiple containers of chicken stock on counter.
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5 from 5 votes

Chicken Stock

Immediately elevate the flavor in all your dishes with homemade chicken stock. Our step-by-step instructions outline exactly how to make the best stock that can be used in soups, stews, and dozens of main courses.
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time9 hours 15 minutes
Course: stocks
Cuisine: French
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 24 cups


  • 8 pounds chicken backbones or a combination of wings and chicken feet see below
  • 3 large carrots cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 6 ribs celery cut into 3-inch pieces, use leaves too
  • 3 medium yellow onion cut in half
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 4 dry bay leaves
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 25 peppercorns
  • 20 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • water enough to fill above all ingredients


Simmer the stock

  • Add all of the ingredients into at least a 16-quart stockpot and pack them down with a wooden spoon. Add enough water to just cover all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once boiling skim the scum from the top with a large flat spoon or ladle. Turn the heat down to a very low level where the stock is very gently simmering.
  • Simmer for 8 hours, skimming the scum every 45-60 minutes.

Straining the stock

  • After 8 hours turn off the heat and strain the stock. Place a sieve or colander over an empty pot and line it with cheesecloth or coffee filters.
  • First, gently remove most of the bones and vegetables from the pot then pour or ladle the stock (a small pot with a long handle works well as a big ladle) into the cheesecloth-lined strainer.
  • You should be left with approximately 6 quarts of stock. If you have substantially more than that simply reduce the stock in a pot before storing.
  • Let the stock cool then divide into storage containers. After refrigerating or freezing the solidified fat will be at the top of each container, protecting the flavor of the stock. The fat can be saved for another use or easily removed and discarded right before using. See below for storage notes.


  • This recipe makes approximately 5-6 quarts of chicken stock.  If you have substantially more than that, the stock will be too weak.  Pour the stock into a clean pot and cook over medium-high heat to reduce the stock down to 6 quarts before storing.
  • We recommend no salt in stocks.  Salt accordingly, when using stocks to make your recipe.
  • Storing in smaller containers is recommended.  1-quart containers are how we typically store stock.  But smaller amounts can be stored in ice cube trays or other smaller containers.
  • Don't worry when the stock turns to jelly in the fridge. That is perfectly normal, and good. It means you extracted the gelatin from the chicken bones.
  • The stock can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6  months.
  • It's best to leave the fat cap during storage, since it provides a protective seal at the top of the container which locks in the flavor.  Simply remove the fat cap upon use, or save the fat for another use.


Calories: 86kcal | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2.9g | Saturated Fat: 0.8g | Cholesterol: 7.2mg | Potassium: 252mg | Sugar: 3.8g | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 7.2mg | Iron: 0.5mg