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Chicken Stock Recipe in jar

Best-Ever Chicken Stock Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 quarts 1x
  • Category: Soup, Healthy
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American


This chicken stock recipe was a staple in my home growing up. I remember my mom making chicken stock on the stove every weekend, all winter long. Use it as the base of soups, stews, gravies, or sauces, or sip it plain for a nourishing, savory treat.


  • 1 whole chicken (3-5 pounds), any paper inside removed
  • 1 white or yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled and cut in half
  • 2-3 celery ribs, with leaves if possible
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, smashed open or cut in half
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 stems fresh parsley (about 1 small handful)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • enough filtered water to fill the pot


  1. Place a 6- to 8-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid on the stovetop. I use a 6-quart pot for a 4- or 5-pound chicken.
  2. Remove the paper pouch that contains the organs if it's still in the chicken. Use in another recipe or discard.
  3. Add all ingredients to the pot. Clean the veggies but it's ok to leave the skin on the onion and carrots. Cover with filtered cold water to about an inch below the top.
  4. Put a tight-fitting lid on the pot.
  5. Set it on the stove and bring it to a boil. This takes about 10-20 minutes.
  6. Immediately reduce to a simmer. Simmer for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. The longer the simmer, the better the flavor.
  7. If you use a whole chicken, remove the meat from the chicken after 2 hours to prevent overcooking it. (See the sections above for my method to remove the meat).
  8. Keep the pot covered to prevent your stock from evaporating. If you notice the liquid reducing too much, you can add a few cups of water at any time during the process.
  9. After simmering for at least 4 hours in total, strain your stock through a fine-mesh sieve, strainer, or cheesecloth into a large bowl, pot, or a large stockpot. Simmer up to 24 hours for more flavor before straining.
  10. Discard everything that was in the pot except the liquid you just strained. The veggies, for example, are beyond saving, but they served a very good purpose.

CrockPot Method:

  1. Follow the above directions, but use a slow cooker instead. Add all of the ingredients and water to your slow-cooker
  2. Turn on high heat until it comes to a simmer—probably about 2 hours. It will take a while to simmer as the slow-cooker heats at a slower pace than your stovetop.
  3. Remove the meat once it’s cooked through, roughly 2-3 hours in.
  4. Add everything back in just like the method above. Let it all simmer on low for 4-24 hours.
  5. Just keep it covered and let it simmer as long as you’d like. You may want to add another cup or two of filtered water if too much liquid evaporates.

All slow-cookers are different. You may want to leave it on high if it’s not gently simmering on low. I leave mine on low overnight after setting it on high for about 3 hours, and it simmers all night. (The house smells fantastic in the morning!)

InstantPot Method:

  • Place all of the ingredients in your instant pot and fill with enough water to just cover everything, being sure not to fill the pressure cooker more than about 2/3 full (a pressure cooker can't come up to pressure if it's too full). That means you may have to reduce the ingredients or cut the chicken parts in half if you had a big chicken.
  • Set to pressure cook on high for 40 minutes. 
  • It will take about 20 minutes to come up to pressure, and do a natural release for 30 minutes. All in, it will take about 90-100 minutes to make chicken stock in a pressure cooker.


  • This method uses a whole chicken. You can also use this recipe with just the chicken bones, skin, and whole carcass of a roasted chicken
  • Use your stock right away to make homemade chicken soup or any other delicious recipe. It’s also great to sip plain in a mug with a big pinch of sea salt.
  • To store, let it come to room temperature, then store it in quart containers. You can refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 6 months.
  • If freezing, store the chicken stock in portions that will be useful in recipes, like 2-cup or 4-cup containers.

Keywords: Chicken Stock Recipe, Homemade Chicken Stock, Stock, Bone Broth