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homemade chicken stock recipe

Best-Ever Chicken Stock Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 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. 

Long-simmered homemade chicken stock (AKA bone broth) is wonderfully nutritious and filled with protein, nutrients, and minerals. Plus, the flavor is unbeatable. If you love it, please leave a 5-star rating in the comments below to help other readers in our community.


  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds), any paper inside removed
  • 1 white or yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled and cut in half
  • 2 celery ribs, with leaves if possible
  • 45 garlic cloves, smashed open or cut in half
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 35 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 stems fresh parsley (about 1 small handful)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • enough filtered water to fill the pot


  1. Get out a 6- to 8-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid. I use a 6-quart pot for a 4- or 5-pound chicken.
  2. Be sure to check the inside of the chicken and remove the paper pouch that contains the organs. 
  3. Discard the paper and the organs, if desired, or add the organs to the pot for extra nutrition.
  4. Add all ingredients to the pot. Cover with filtered cold water to about an inch below the top.
  5. Put a tight-fitting lid on the pot.
  6. Set it on the stove and bring to a boil. This takes about 10-20 minutes.
  7. Immediately reduce to a simmer. Simmer for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. The longer the simmer, the better the flavor.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. After simmering 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.
  11. 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.


  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!)


  • This method uses a whole chicken. You can also use this recipe with just the chicken bones, skin, and whole carcass of a roast 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