As convenient as canned stock may be, there is no substitute for rich, velvety homemade chicken stock. Simmer bony chicken pieces, vegetables, seasonings, and water for hours to make your own. Here's how.
Stock vs Broth: While chicken stock and chicken broth are quite similar, there are differences. Broth may or may not call for bones. Stock always includes bones and simmers hours longer than broth to release more collagen from the bones. This is what gives stock its thicker consistency.
Get the Bone-In Chicken Noodle Soup recipe pictured
To start making chicken stock, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut up 3 carrots, 1 large onion, and 4 pounds bony chicken pieces (wings, backs, and/or necks). If you're using wings, cut each wing at the joints into three pieces; this exposes more surface area of the chicken for richer flavor.
Chicken stock ingredients are pretty basic: It's chicken, vegetables, and liquid. This is where a homemade chicken stock really starts to outshine purchased stock. Fresh veggies roasted at home give flavor unmatched by something from a can.
Combine the chicken pieces, carrots, and onion in a large, shallow roasting pan. Distribute the chicken and vegetables evenly around the pan. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until well browned, turning occasionally. Drain off fat. Place the chicken, carrots, and onion in a 10-quart Dutch oven or kettle.
After removing the chicken and vegetables, pour 1/2 cup water into the roasting pan, scraping up the flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour this liquid into the Dutch oven.
Add 12 cups water to the Dutch oven. If desired, add vegetables and seasonings to flavor the stock. Simmer the meat and vegetables, covered, in the Dutch oven for 5 hours. Collagen from the bones helps to thicken the stock.
This is the real secret for how to make chicken stock. The slow simmer lets flavors develop fully and releases the collagen. Don't shortcut the simmer.
Slow Cooker Chicken Stock Tip: If you don't want to take up stove space for this many hours, you can make your chicken stock in the slow cooker. Just add your roasted ingredients and liquid to a slow cooker instead of a dutch oven, and cook on low for 5 hours.
Strain the stock through two layers of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth layered in a colander and set over a large bowl. Discard chicken and vegetables. If desired, clarify broth.
To clarify hot strained broth: Return broth to Dutch oven. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup cold water and 1 beaten egg white. Stir egg white mixture into broth. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat; let stand for 4 minutes. Strain again.
Skim the fat off finished stock. If you're using the hot stock immediately, skim liquid fat off with a spoon. Or, you can chill the chicken stock recipe until the fat congeals and lift it off with a spoon.
Simplify making chicken stock by using an already cooked chicken! Our easy chicken stock recipe calls for a rotisserie chicken. Remove the skin and most of the meat and put the bones, with those meat scraps that are too hard to remove by hand, in the dutch oven with the veggies and water to make your own shortcut homemade chicken stock.
Get the Easy Chicken Stock recipe.
Now you know how to make chicken stock! Most people don't eat chicken stock plain, so here are some recipes that call for chicken stock that will let you put your more-delicious-than-store-bought recipe to good use!