Ok, so you just made a roasted chicken (maybe it was my Citrus & Herb Whole Roasted Chicken!) and now you have a chicken carcass. What do you do with it? First, don't throw it away! Instead, you can use it to make soup stock that will add a flavor punch to any of your soup recipes. This is my recipe for Homemade Chicken Stock, but you can take this as a rough guideline. There are many variations that can be made - mushroom stock, vegetable stock, parmesan stock (not for the dairy-free) - so try whatever feels good to you!
As always, I do include a few affiliate links in this post for products I truly use and love. This just means that if you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I'll earn a little money (at no cost to you) to keep the kitchen up and running, which I promise to use to create more fun content like this! One of those affiliates is with Amazon, which requires a very clear disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you have any questions about affiliates, please reach out!
Ingredients you need to make Homemade Chicken Stock
- Chicken carcass: clearly, the star of the show! Use the whole chicken carcass with any meat that is left on it. You can also throw in any random bones or bits you have left over (it's for flavor, so you can't go wrong here)
- Onion: I like to quarter my onion, and you don't even need to peel outer layers off. Just make sure it's clean.
- Carrot: this is a great way to use up some sad carrots that have gone a little soft. You also don't need to peel them -- throw them in whole!
- Celery: you can use bits you might normally discard. The tops with leaves, or the bottom you would normally cut off are great for stock. No need to clean them up at all!
- Parsley: just take a whole bunch -- a whole handful. If I have a lot of herbs that need to be used quickly, soup stock is always a great way to use them.
- Salt and pepper
One beautiful thing about making homemade soup stock is that you can use kitchen scraps / odds and ends. Keep a gallon ziplock bag in your freezer, and as you have a few scraps, throw them in. Maybe it's half an onion you didn't use, carrot trimmings, etc. Add them to the bag and dump them into your soup stock whenever you're ready to make it. You can, of course, also use prime, fresh ingredients, but just know that you don't have to!
You can also freeze the chicken carcass if you aren't planning to make the stock right away. Put it in a freezer-safe ziplock bag and then pull it out whenever you're ready to make it!
Equipment you'll need to get started
There are a few key things you'll need here:
- The Big Deal Stock Pot from Great Jones: you need a big stock pot. This is going to be bigger than a regular-sized pot you cook your pasta in. I like this one from Great Jones, and I also have a Le Creuset Stock Pot that I really like.
- Mesh Strainer from Amazon: you will need a strainer to seperate the liquid stock from the ingredients you'll discard.
How to store Homemade Chicken Stock
There are a few ways you can store soup stock:
- In the fridge: If you're going to use the stock quickly, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. This will keep for about 4-5 days.
- In the pantry: Canning is an option. If you go through the canning process, you can keep soup stock in your pantry for up to one year.
- In the freezer: this is my favorite. I like to place 1-2 cups of stock in a freezer-safe ziplcok bag, and then freeze flat. This way, I know how much stock is in each bag and can easily grab however many bags I need. A normal soup recipe uses 4-6 cups of stock. You can also freeze stock in plastic containers (like these Deli Storage Containers). When you're ready to use, thaw the stock in the fridge for a few days. You can also let it sit on the counter for a bit and then throw it into your soup directly. Your soup is warm and cooking, so the frozen stock will melt!
Homemade Chicken Stock FAQ
Can I substitute ingredients?
Soup stock is very forgiving. Do you have shallots instead of yellow onion? Do you have a few extra carrots that you'd like to get rid of? Throw them in. Soup stock can be as light, or as flavorful as you like.
Below is my recipe for Homemade Chicken Stock. Happy cooking!
Homemade Chicken Stock
- 1 chicken carcass bones, skin, and any remaining meat bits included
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 yellow onion unpeeled, quartered
- 2 carrots unpeeled, coarsely chopped
- 2 stalks celery coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a stock pot. Fill with water until all ingredients are covered. If you like a thinner stock, you can add more water here.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer, partially covered, for about 4 hours. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Once cooled, use a slotted spoon to remove and discard large solids (bones, vegetables) and then pour through a mesh strainer to remove any other bits. Your soup stock is now ready to use or store!