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Homemade Chicken Stock

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Okay, so we’ve conquered cooking a whole chicken without looking directly at it and pretending not to see his legs. And then we’ve used two of the four cups of leftover meat.  Now we’re going to use all this goop that’s left over. This is all the leftover bones and all the innards. Like I told you before, don’t throw anything away……anything. I even kept the bones from the chicken legs that Barry ate. We’re going to boil it for a while so that all the germies that were there will disappear. Don’t tell Barry I said he had germies.

Well, I lied. I did keep this wish bone out for Annie and Barry to pull. I just couldn’t bear to add it to the pot. Annie won the wish.

Get out your big stock pot for this. This is my gigantic pot that I inherited when Barry and I got married… was his, and now it’s mine. What’s his is mine and what’s mine is mine – that’s how marriage works. Your pot should be big enough to hold all the stuff plus 16 cups of water. Go ahead and dump in your goop and add 16 cups of water.

Add two tablespoons of cider vinegar to the pot. Why? The vinegar breaks down the bones and draws out the calcium into the broth. That’s why homemade stock is SO GOOD for you! And it tastes about a zillion times better than the stuff from the store. As I dig farther into making things at home versus buying them at the store I realize how much better homemade things taste…..and I feel like Suzy Homemaker. I am now accepting all donations for cute frilly aprons. Thank you.

Stick on the lid and let your pot sit for 45 minutes. Why? I guess it’s to help the vinegar do it’s thang before you start boiling it. Yeah, that sounds good – let’s go with that.

Bring the big ole pot to a boil. When it starts boiling, you might notice some ickiness rising to the top. If you do, just go ahead and skim it off. I didn’t have any of that. Maybe it’s because I’m using organic chicken? Things that make you go hmmmmmmm.

Reduce the heat to medium low and put the lid on. We’ll let it simmer for four hours to really let the flavor get delicious. You can simmer it for a long time. Even 12-24 hours if you like. I hate waiting.

About an hour before it’s done, you can add some veggies if you like. It will give the broth extra vitamins and minerals. And plus, it’s very tasty. I added two chopped carrots, 1 chopped onion, and 3 stalks of chopped celery. And guess what? You don’t have to peel the carrots. Just wash and chop. We’re not going to eat them. They’ll be skimmed out. I did peel the onion just because….well, just because.

After 4 hours total, remove the pot from the heat. I let mine sit for about 20 minutes because it was really hot and I didn’t want to burn myself. I have issues sometimes. Plus, any time I work with steam my glasses fog up and I yell out “I’m blind!” Then I yell “I can see! It’s a MIRACLE!” Yeah, I’m predictable.

You need a really big bowl and a colander. Remember, you have 16 cups of liquid, so don’t underestimate your bowl size. I actually thought this one was too big…..but I was wrong. Pour the stuff in there and let the colander catch all the bones and veggies.

Let the broth cool to room temperature. Never put hot stuff in your fridge. Never. If you learn nothing else today, don’t put hot stuff in your fridge. It changes the temperature and can do weird things to the stuff you already have in there. When it’s cool, put it in the refrigerator for a couple hours.

My chicken wasn’t a fatty. After chilling in the fridge, fat should rise to the top for you to skim off……or not. Mine had very little fat to skim. Most of the fat had dripped into the bottom of the crock pot. I saved that “stock” too. You can leave the fat in there if you like. It’s good for you….and it’s organic. I just like saying organic. I think I need some organic chocolate.

I divided mine between several containers for freezing. I am running low on these since I don’t buy many of them anymore…..if you have any to donate, I will gladly take them. :-) Now they are ready to go! You can freeze them and take them out whenever you need to add chicken broth to a recipe. How easy was that? And it’s SO GOOD for you – full of vitamins and minerals, and chicken yumminess.

*****You can also use this same method with beef bones, any poultry bones, or pork bones.**********



Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. Willie Mitchell says:

    I really need it with a face like mine!

  2. I love making homemade stock…I should really do it more often. If I have carrots and celery starting to be questionable, aka – limp! – I throw those in too so they don’t go to complete waste!

  3. I’m hungry now & totally get your desire for the “frilly” aprons. Maybe we should start a club?? Oh yeah, we live too far apart. Bummer 😉

  4. I made a chicken in the crock pot tonight. I may make this tomorrow! You can always use freezer bags to freeze it in to.

  5. We’ve been making broth for quite some time now and love it! I ended up buying a case of 1.5 cup glass mason jars (with a coupon) since I have a thing about storing stuff in plastic. (However, I do end up freezing a few 6-8 cup amounts in large Gladware for soups.). When I need to use the broth, I put the glass mason jar(s) in a pot of water and heat it up on the stove to defrost the broth (since I have a thing about microwaves too). I have found glass mason jars to come in VERY handy when it comes to making/storing homemade items. They are the perfect find at garage sales too!

  6. One way to store the broth is to put it in ice cube trays, freeze it, then store the cubes in a big freezer bag. Allows you to portion it out for a little or a lot depending on your needs!

    • You’re so right! I should have that up there. I’ve posted it on Facebook, but forgot to add it here. :-)

      • Cynthia says:

        I have started to make my own chicken stock and I put it into ice cube trays and freeze, then once they’ve frozen I dump them into a large gallon size ziploc bag and just take out cubes as I need them. I’ve found that 3-4 cubes equal one cup, so if i’m making a stir fry or something in the crockpot I always have chicken stock to add more flavor! I used to buy chicken stock all the time and I really didn’t know exactly HOW to make stock – I know that sounds stupid but I just didn’t know how. I can’t tell you how much I have been saving!! Thank you Stacy for all your amazing tips, tricks & wonderful recipes. I look forward to your emails/posts daily!!! You’re so funny, I know I probably sound like a crazy fool sitting here reading my email and laughing like crazy while I sit at my desk. I share a large secretarial suite with two other secretaries… they look at me in wonder when I start giggling every morning lol… They just wouldn’t understand so I just smile and let them think i’m insane – keeps the mystery alive in our relationship so they don’t mess with me :) haha!

        • Ha, ha! This made me laugh! :-) Your ice cub trays must be really big! Mine only hold about 2 tbsp of liquid per cube.

  7. You know!! You could leave the chicken bones and bits in the crock pot! instead of using the stock pot. Add all the veggies and other ingredients for the stock and cook in the crock pot overnight on low! So Easy! Thats what I do. Recipe was found at its a website about eating whole foods and cutting out processed foods!

    • All my friends make their’s in the crock pot….but as much as I love my crock, I just don’t do it that way. And I can’t tell you why. LOL

  8. Hi Stacy, I have a question. I am making chicken stock today for the first time. I put all the goop and the cider vinegar in the pot and was going to let it sit for the 45 minutes that the recipe calls for, however, I had to run to the store and then pick up my son from school, so it sat more for like 2 hours. Do you think that will be okay? I mean you don’t think any harmful bacteria grew in that amount of time do you? Thank you for your help, Andrea

  9. A frugal tip – I save the peels, ends, leftover bits from celery, onions and carrots as well as any bones from thighs or other cuts of meat than whole chickens in a gallon size bag in the freezer. When I get a full bag or two, I make a batch of broth and then make soup with it or can it. I also stick in waste parts such as stems of herbs like rosemary and basil and add those for more flavor. That way you don’t have to waste whole carrots or onions. And I add the peels from the garlic and onion, too!

  10. I have this on the stove top right now! So excited! I hope to never buy stock again unless in a pinch!

  11. Hi Stacy,
    Do you have other recipes on how to make homemade cream soups. I like your cream of chicken but what about the other ones. Cream of celery, mushroom, broccoli etc.
    I’m trying to do away with buying the canned stuff.

    Thanks, Linda

  12. How long can this remain in the freezer?

  13. Thank you

  14. I’m ancient, don’t know how to cook and came across your natural borax remedy for those lovely insects called ants. I love all my aunts but not the ones that intrude in my home. I am brewing the concoction now with the hope that tomorrow brings death to those unwanted insects, I have yet to know there real purpose in life anyway.

    I love the posts…..and the humor. Thanks.


  15. C Overdorf says:

    Is there a way to do this in the crock pot? We have a propane stove and my husband frowns on me simmering anything for 4 hours at a time

  16. Sure! Just switch it over there and cook overnight. :-)

  17. Maggie ODonnell Hofener says:

    Where would the stock fall in regards to THM?

  18. If you skim the fat off the top, it’s a FP…otherwise it’s an S. :-)

  19. Misty Leigh Newsome says:

    ok, am I the only one this happened to? I’ve made stock previously in the crock pot, but found your blog and decided to try this recipe today. You said to leave it on medium low and it can cook longer than 4 hours. So I let it go, even put it down to simmer. It hit 3 hours while we were away at the store. I came home to put the veggies in it and there was like an inch of stock left in the pot with all the chicken pieces! I’ve added water and will try to let it cook longer, but I was just wondering if this had happened to anyone!

    • It happened to me too, and I had left the pot on the lowest heat I could. I wanted to try it this way because I couldn’t get 16 cups of liquid to fit in my crockpot along with all the goop. Oh well.

  20. I can honestly say that’s never happened to me….it sounds like you were boiling instead of simmering?

  21. Rebecca Moose says:

    I make mine about the same way. I use the crockpot, add the vinegar, I keep onions peels, celery ends and carrots all in the crock also. The peels help intensify the stocks color. I also add a pinch of turmeric to help the color and sea salt for flavor. After everything’s in the crockpot, I cook it on low for 24 hours. Then I use the jars I’ve saved from other things and leave an inch head space for freezing. Once cooled it goes into the freezer. I save jar and use my canning jars for this purpose.

  22. Stacy, after the broth is frozen you can remove from container and put into a storage bag, then you can use your container again for more things.

  23. Jerome Hutson says:

    I freeze my stock in 1 cup blocks then store them in ziplock bags. This makes it pre-measured and easy to store.

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