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How to Make Chicken Stock: Chicken Broth for Recipes

Updated on March 6, 2015

Chicken Soup for the Soul

If chicken soup is for the soul, then making chicken stock should be at the top of your recipe list in the kitchen.

Its easy to make chicken stock. Once you know how, using the stock in a variety of recipes - from chicken soup to chicken enchiladas - will add depth of flavor to your dishes.

Sure, you can buy Swanson's or another brand at the store, but nothing tastes like homemade stock.

There are a few ingredients to get at the store - fresh garlic, onion, celery and carrots. You can even use an inexpensive rotisserie chicken to form the basis of your stock. Homemade stock can be used in soups, casseroles, stews and crockpot recipes.

Chicken stock is the foundation of chicken soup
Chicken stock is the foundation of chicken soup

Making Chicken Stock

Cook Time for Homemade Chicken Stock

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
  • Yields: 8 cups chicken stock

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5 stars from 2 ratings of Chicken Stock Recipe
Making chicken stock
Making chicken stock

Make Chicken Stock

Chicken stock can be made in two general ways - using pieces of a chicken carcass, or using chicken bones. My preferred method is the first one, because chicken meat becomes part of your stock, which I think gives it the best flavor.

Here's how we make chicken stock.


  • 4 pounds chicken pieces (backs, wings, legs) cut into 2-inch pieces - this is when you ask your butcher to help you out
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 T. chopped garlic
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 quarts water
  • olive oil


1. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large pot. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes and then transfer to a large bowl.

2. Add half of the chicken pieces to the pot. Cook 4-5 minutes, until no longer pink. Transfer to the bowl with onion/garlic mixture. Sauté remaining chicken.

3. Return onion, garlic and chicken pieces to the pot. Add parsley and thyme. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a separate pot or kettle.

4. After 20 minutes of cooking the chicken, turn up the heat to high and add the 2 quarts of boiling water, salt and bay leaves. Return to a low simmer, cover, and continue cooking for 20 minutes.

5. Strain broth and discard solids. You now have chicken broth to use in your recipes! If not needed immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for 2-3 months.

Uses for Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade chicken stock is useful in many recipes. Because you control the flavor and seasoning, you can tweak recipes in your favor. In addition, canned chicken stock, or boullion cubes are very high in sodium. With homemade chicken stock, excess salt is not an issue. That makes it a healthy choice for people with high blood pressure or kidney issues.

Your own chicken stock will add a special element to your cooking. I've collected the best recipes using chicken stock as a base. Be sure to try any or all of them!

Fragrant Thai Chicken and Noodle Broth: Starting out with a recipe from Jamie Oliver. This one is perfect for two of you - if you have a larger crowd, be sure to double it at least! It's a light, tasty dinner any time of the year.

Mushroom and Asparagus Shepard's Pie: This hearty dish is comfort food at its best! Mushroom and asparagus are fresh and healthy ingredients. Make this entrée any time from February through June!

Sweet Potato Soup: Chicken stock forms a perfect basis for this unique, sweetly satisfying soup, with cinnamon and allspice to remind you of fall recipes.

Crockpot Herb Chicken with Stuffing: This inexpensive easy meal will soon become a staple at your home. Once you see how simple it is to make this delicious dinner, you'll probably fire it up at least several times a month.

Mushroom and Chicken Risotto: I love risotto. I love mushrooms. Add to these two ingredients homemade chicken stock, and its heaven on a fork.

Homemade chicken stock
Homemade chicken stock

© 2010 Stephanie Hicks


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      stessily 5 years ago

      Steph, Homemade chicken stock is in a class of its own. The liquid of the stock has a clarity and sparkle that is missing in the canned variety.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Kind regards, Stessily

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Chicken spaghetti sounds delicious! I'll bet its extra yummy with homemade chicken stock. Thanks for the comment!

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 7 years ago from USA

      Very useful. Being from the south I use chicken broth/stock in chicken spaghetti. It is wonderful. You have given more useful ways to use this. When I fix something fresh with chicken; I do use the stock or broth.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Good points ST! Chicken stock freezes well! I certainly love the aroma of stock on the stove. Yummy... its making me hungry right now.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Chicken stock really is something that should be in the freezer or fridge at all times. It's so versatile, as your recipe suggestions show, Steph, and so easy to make. Not to mention how good your kitchen smells while it's simmering! As always, thumbs up.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hope you enjoy! Thanks creativeone

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you stephhick, for a great stock hub, Thanks for sharing it. Godspeed. creativeone59