Basic Chicken Stock

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

The easiest of stocks to make, this surpasses any commercial variety because you control the quality of ingredients and the amount of fat included. Salt may be added when the stock is used in a recipe. This freezes well for up to four months.

NotesFreeze in quantities you know you can use--2-cup (500 ml), 4-cup (1 L) or 6-cup (1/5 L) amounts.

Stocks freeze well for up to 3 months. When freezing liquids, remember to leave 1-inch (2 cm) headspace between stock and lid.



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Taste and Texturelight, savory

Type of Dishsoup, stock


  • 6 whole cloves 
  • 1 onion, peeled 
  • 2½ lbs (1 kg) chicken bones, backs, necks or wings
  • 1 carrot, chopped 
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped 
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) dried thyme leaves 
  • 8 cups (2 L) cold water (approx) 


  1. Stick cloves in onion. Place in large stainless steel saucepan, along with chicken bones, carrot, celery, parsley, bay leaf and thyme. Add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 to 1½ hours, skimming any froth that rises to the surface.

  2. Set fine mesh sieve over large container. Ladle stock into sieve, leaving behind dregs. Remove meat from bones and save for another use. Discard bones, vegetables and bay leaf.

  3. To freeze: Let stock cool. Refrigerate. Discard congealed fat on surface. Ladle into freezer containers. Seal, label and date. Freeze for up to 4 months.

  4. To serve: Thaw soup in microwave or in refrigerator overnight.


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