Chicken stock is essential to everyday cooking, especially if you’re interested in making gravy, sauces or soups. This homemade chicken stock recipe is pretty simple to make from scratch and is incredibly delicious too. Preserving it through pressure canning is a great way to enjoy this easy and essential recipe all year long.
How to Make your Own Chicken Stock from Scratch
Whenever I end up with a bird carcass from thanksgiving dinner, or a random rotisserie chicken night, I throw the bird in a large pot with some vegetables, herbs and peppercorns and let it simmer overnight. The result is delicious broth, perfect for gravy bases, soup basis or added flavor to rice or couscous. It’s also an excellent way of using leftovers.
How Much Chicken Stock Does it Make?
Depending on the size of the carcass and meat left will dictate how much broth you can make. It will also depend upon how long you simmer your chicken stock.
So, what’s the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth?
Stock is cultivated by boiling the carcass of the chicken with some meat still clinging to the bones and connective tissue, along with vegetables and spices.
Broth is simply boiling the meat with vegetables and spices.
Both are boiled for long periods of time, but chicken stock tends to be much hardier than broth. This is due to the gelatin, connective tissue and bone marrow you find in the bones. Stock is much more substantial, thicker, more flavorful and generally more nutritious.
What you’ll need to Make Chicken Stock:
- Chicken carcass (I used the leftovers from a rotisserie chicken)
- One Onion, chopped in large pieces (If you leave the skin on, it adds extra flavor)
- Carrots (I usually just throw in whatever I have leftover from when I made a stew or something – 3 or 4 chopped in large pieces)
- Celery (make sure to add the leafy part for extra vitamins – at least 2 stalks)
- Now for the herbs: parsley, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves (fresh is best, but dried is fine too)
- Black peppercorn
Place chicken carcass into the stock pot, add vegetables, herbs and peppercorn. Cover with water and simmer on low to medium heat for at a minimum of 4 hours.
I usually simmer overnight as I feel the longer it boils, the more flavorful the broth gets. However, make sure it’s on low enough that it won’t scald and that there is enough water in the pot.
Next you’ll drain the broth and remove all the vegetables and bones. The same type of strainer that you use for pasta will do just fine.
I find it easiest to strain it into a glass mixing bowl with a pourable lip.
Then, pour the stock from the glass mixing bowl into mason jars. You will need to pour the chicken stock over cheesecloth to remove any small leaves, peppercorns, pieces of meat or anything else!
Do with the leftovers as you will. Most people will throw it away, but if you have chickens or pigs, go ahead and give it to them. Or, throw the vegetables into the composter!
Once drained, place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning skim off any fat or herbs that have accumulated at the top overnight.
Storing Your Chicken Stock
I put my broth in large mason jars and refrigerate for immediate use. Store in mason jars in the refrigerator for up to 4 days
There is also the option of sticking them into the freezer to use at a later time. Just make sure to provide enough room in the jar for expansion. Frozen chicken stock can be stored for up to 6 months.
Another option is to pressure can your stock. Not everyone is comfortable with pressure canning, but it’s a great option if you want to preserve for longer.
Pressure Canning Instructions
For pressure cooking, once you have skimmed the fat from the chicken stock, reheat the stock and prepare mason jars.
Pour hot chicken stock into pint sized mason jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
Wipe the rims and add the lids with rings to your jars.
Processing Pressure on Canner: 10lbs weighted gauge or 11lbs dial gauge. Be sure to adjust for altitude when over 1000 feet.
Adjusting Altitude for dial gauge Pressure Canner
Pressure to be used
0 – 1000ft / 11lb
1001-2000ft / 11lb
2001-4000ft / 12lb
4001-6000ft / 13lb
6001-8000ft / 14lb
8001-10,000ft / 15lb
Adjusting Altitude for a weighted gauge Pressure Canner
Pressure to be used
0 – 1000ft / 10 lb
1001-2000ft / 15lb
2001-4000ft / 15lb
4001-6000ft / 15lb
6001-8000ft / 15lb
8001-10,000ft / 15lb
Process your pint sized jars in the pressure canner for 20 minutes.
The result is absolutely beautiful and incredibly tasty chicken broth. Enjoy your homemade chicken stock as a base of so many recipes, or enjoy it as a stand alone soup on a cold day.
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Homemade Chicken Stock
Simple and delicious, this homemade chicken stock recipe can be made overnight and used for gravies, soup and sauces.
- 1 Chicken carcass
- 1 Onion Cut in fourths
- 3 Carrots Cut in half
- 3 Celery stalks Cut in fourths with leaves attached
- 4 Sprigs of Fresh Parsley (or 2 tbsp dried)
- 2 Sprigs Rosemary (or 1 tbsp dried)
- 2 Sprigs Thyme (or 1 tbsp dried)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Black peppercorns
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 8-10 Cupe Water Or until all contents are submerged
Place chicken carcass in a large pot.
Chop in large pieces: onions, carrots and celery. Add to pot.
Add to the pot parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, garlic, peppercorn and bay leaves.
Submerge all contents in water. (About 8-10 cups of water) and turn stove on high.
Once boiling lower to simmer and allow to simmer overnight. (About 8 hours)
Once simmer is done, drain into a large mixing bowl with a pouring lip on rim. Throw away or compost veggies and bones. Cover stock and refrigerate for 5 hours.
Skim off all fat and herbs that have accumulated overnight with a spoon.
Strain stock through a cheesecloth into mason jars to get rid of any small leaves and anything else.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 6 months.