Great soups and stews start with a flavorful stock. Once you see how easy it is to make chicken stock from scratch, you will pass on the store bought versions. Here are three ways to make homemade chicken stock, including Instant Pot pressure cooker, slow cooker, and on the stovetop.
Tips for Making Homemade Chicken Stock
Chicken stock is a great pantry staple to have on hand for making soups, gravies, stews, and stir-fry. Here are some tips to make things easier:
1. Save your scraps
Toss the chicken bones from roasted chicken, barbecued drumsticks, and chicken wings into a freezer bag and freeze until you are ready to make chicken stock.
Also toss in vegetable scraps, such as the ends of onions and garlic, celery centers, trimmed bits of carrots, and even the stems of parsley have lots of flavor. Freeze extra sprigs of rosemary and thyme so they don’t go to waste.
2. Roast the bones and vegetables for a rich stock
Roasting the bones and vegetables is optional. If you have the time, it does add a layer of richness to the flavor of the stock.
If you are pressed for time, simply add all the ingredients to the pot and simmer away. You will still end up with a highly flavorful stock that surpasses anything you can purchase in the grocery store.
3. Put your slow cooker or pressure cooker to work
Using a 6-quart or larger slow cooker or Instant Pot pressure cooker makes it so easy to make chicken stock. You just pile all the ingredients in and let the slow cooker or pressure cooker do the work. Yes, even frozen bones and vegetables!
Don’t have either? No problem! Even if you are cooking on the stove you won’t be tied to the kitchen while the stock simmers. Just a bit of stirring and skimming off foam that forms on the surface of the stock once and a while. Instructions for all three methods are included in the recipe below.
4. Let the chicken stock cool and refrigerate overnight
Once the stock cools in the refrigerator, the fat rises to the top. The fat can be easily skimmed off and discarded.
Use your homemade chicken stock right away or refrigerate or divide into freezer containers and freeze for up to 6 months.
Homemade Chicken Stock 3 Ways
- 2-6 pounds chicken carcass and bones
- 2 large onions cut into wedges
- 2 medium carrots cut into large pieces
- 2 stalks celery cut into large pieces
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley (or 2 sprigs fresh parsley)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 sprig fresh rosemary)
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 10 cups cold water or enough to cover the bones
To Roast the Bones and Vegetables (all cooking methods):
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
- Place the chicken bones into a large roasting pan. Spread the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic on top.
- Roast the bones and vegetables uncovered in a preheated oven until the vegetables are charred and the bones are brown, about 35-45 minutes. Toss about halfway through to help brown evenly.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and transfer the bones and vegetables to a pot, slow cooker, or Instant Pot pressure cooker.
- Add 1 cup of water to the hot roasting pan to deglaze the pan. As the water steams, scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to scrape the brown fragments stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the flavorful liquid to your pot.
- Add the bay leaves, thyme, parsley, rosemary, peppercorns, and enough water to cover the bones by several inches, about 8 cups. Proceed with your cooking method of choice, stovetop, slow cooker, or pressure cooker.
To Make Chicken Stock on the Stove:
- Cover and set the slow cooker to low and simmer for at least 8 hour and up to 24 hours.
To Make Chicken Stock in an Instant Pot:
- Secure the lid and turn the regulator valve to "sealing" position. Cook on manual at high pressure for 1 hour. Let the pressure release naturally.
For All Cooking Methods:
- When the chicken stock is done, remove the chicken bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon.
- Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a large heatproof container. Discard the solids.
- Let the chicken stock cool and refrigerate overnight. Once the stock cools in the refrigerator, the fat will rise to the top and can be skimmed off before using or freezing.
- Refrigerate for up to 4-days or divide into freezer storage containers and freeze for up to one year.
- Makes about 8 cups chicken stock.
Do you want to can your chicken stock? Follow this Canning Chicken Stock recipe.