Chicken Stock

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Chicken stock is not difficult to make from scratch. I usually start it after I roast a chicken, using the carcass, innards, and any bones that I can snatch back from people’s plates. Don’t worry; they will be boiled. The remnants of each 5-pound chicken will make about a quart of stock. I cook these stocks for a long time so as to extract the silky gelatin from the bones. Freeze in pint containers for ease of use. Defrost in the microwave for about 5 minutes. A quart will defrost in about 9 minutes.

Makes10 cups on top of the stove, 8 cups in the oven, 6 cups in the slow cooker



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

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

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Type of Dishsoup, stock


  • 5 pounds chicken backs and necks, roasted carcasses, or other bones


  1. To start the stock on top of the stove: In a tall, narrow stockpot, bring the bones and 3 quarts water to a boil. Skim the fat. Lower the heat and simmer gently, so bubbles are barely breaking the surface of the liquid, for at least 4 hours and up to 12; add water as needed to keep the bones covered. Skim as necessary to remove as much fat as possible.

  2. To start the stock in the oven: Place a rack on the lowest level of the oven (remove any other racks) and heat the oven to 250°F.

  3. In a tall, narrow stockpot on the stovetop, bring the bones and 3 quarts water to a boil. Skim the fat. Place in the oven for 4 hours; add water if needed. Remove and skim the fat. Return to the oven for at least 5 hours and up to 8.

  4. To start the stock in a slow cooker: Start with 2½ pounds bones and 6 cups water for a 4-quart cooker. Place the bones in the slow cooker and pour the water over them. Cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for 11 to 12 hours.

  5. To finish using any method: The bones will be falling apart when the stock is done. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Skim the fat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

  6. Remove the fat from the top of the stock and the sediment from the bottom. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze.


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