How to make, store, and freeze homemade chicken stock (bone broth). Save money and have tasty healthier chicken stock for dishes, soups, and stews!
Homemade Chicken Stock tastes rich and wonderful compared to the store boxed version and can be made inexpensively. The real reason to make your own stock is: the flavor! It takes soups and other dishes to a whole new level of yum.
Hey, don’t get me wrong, you will always find both in my kitchen, but…
Chicken stock is something I have made for many years, and is healthier than the boxed stuff as you control the ingredients. Homemade Chicken Stock is a versatile base ingredient for adding deeper flavor to many dishes. You will notice the difference in your cooking when you use your own stock!
Try Homemade Chicken Stock in your:
- alfredo sauce
- marinara sauce
- chicken pot pies
…..just to name a few…..
One of the best tips for Homemade Chicken Stock is: freeze chicken bones, from rotisserie chickens. You can freeze right in the plastic box they come in or a zip lock bag.
Keep other chicken bones in bags in your freezer. Once the bag is full, I start a large pot on the stove or in the slow cooker on a cold lazy weekend day. Grab a few other things and you are on your way to some special dishes and soups.
My husband goes crazy for that “homemade chicken stock” smell as it fills the house. Sure the boxed stuff is ok. But honestly, if someone in my home isn’t feeling so well, the first thing I do is break out my Homemade Chicken Stock and whip up a nice pot of soup. I love soup…chicken noodle soup, tortilla soup, tomato soup, and potato leek soup are my favorites.
Let’s Make Homemade Chicken Stock:
In a large pot or stock pot, place chicken bones, vegetables, herbs, and spices. I use chicken bones previously frozen right from the freezer. Lemons add a wonderful brightness to chicken stock, just squeeze in the juice and place the lemon halves right in your stock pot. Trust me on this tip, the lemons add a brightness to your stock.
Tip: Making stock is a great way to use up pieces of celery, onion, lemon, and carrot and clean out that fridge!
Add water to just cover the top of the contents in the pot. Turn the heat on high and cook until you begin to see bubbles. Turn heat down to a low simmer, you don’t want it boiling. After it boils, I like to add a nice handful of parsley on top. As the chicken stock cooks, the ingredients will drop down into the pot and become fully submerged.
Tip: Rest a wooden spoon on a plate near your stock pot, and push everything down every hour or so. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for 4-6 hours, on a low simmer. It takes awhile to cook, and you home will smell amazing. In the meantime, watch a movie, read a book, or take a nap! ZZZZZZZZZZ
When done, turn the heat off and carefully pull the large pieces out of the pot with tongs and discard into the trash. Strain stock through a colander into another large stockpot or heat proof container and again discard any remaining bones and vegetables.
Tips: Cool your stock before storing. You can add ice, and it will cool down quickly. Divide the stock into frequently used portions (1 cup, 2 cups, or 1 quart). Label your containers or bags first, measure the stock into frequently used portions (1 cup, 2 cups, or 1 quart) and fill your containers or zip lock bags.
You can also place in refrigerator overnight to use in the next 2-3 days. Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and then store any extra in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To Freeze: Take a zip lock bag, place it in a bowl or large measuring cup, turn the top edge of the bag down, fill using a measuring cup, then let air out and zip closed. Lay on a cookie sheet to freeze and stack in freezer.
To Reheat Homemade Chicken Stock: Cut and peel off the bag, or run water over the container until the block releases. Place frozen block in the pot, add a bit of water in the bottom of the pan, melt and bring to boil for 2 minutes. Use as a base for dishes, soups, and sauces.
Ways to Freeze Chicken Stock:
Freeze chicken stock in ice-cube trays, pop out, and put into dated/labeled freezer bags. Add cubes to make quick sauces and gravy.
1 cup measurements, freeze and pop into dated/labeled freezer bags.
Freeze larger amounts in freezer safe containers or zip lock bags for soups and stews.
- 4 pounds frozen chicken bones
- 1 large peeled onion cut in 4 pieces
- 6 carrots peeled and cut in 1/2
- 6 ribs celery cut in 1/2
- 12 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
- 3 bay leaves
- 12 peppercorns
- 1 small lemon
- 3 teaspoons sea salt
- 1-2 whole cloves peeled garlic optional
- cold water to fill over ingredients
In a large pot or stockpot, place chicken bones, vegetables, herbs and spices. I use chicken bones previously frozen right from the freezer. Lemons add a wonderful brightness to chicken stock, just squeeze in the juice and place the lemon halves right in your stock pot.
Add water to just cover the top of the contents in the pot. Turn the heat on high and cook until you begin to see bubbles. Turn heat down to a low simmer, you don't want it boiling. After it boils, I like to add a nice handful of parsley on top. As the chicken stock cooks, the ingredients will drop down into the pot and become fully submerged.
Simmer on low for at least 4 hours, cool, strain out the chicken stock with a strainer and a large bowl. Chill quickly by adding ice into your stock. Store cooled chicken stock in freezer safe ziplock, mason jars, or containers.
Label container with Chicken Stock and date.
Nutrition information is for all stock.
Storing Homemade Chicken Stock Safely in the Freezer:
A homemade chicken stock will store in the freezer for up to 6 months in freezer safe air-tight containers.
Stock can be frozen in freezer safe containers or freezer bags.
Storing Homemade Chicken Stock Safely in the Refrigerator
Keep in the coldest back part of your refrigerator under 40 degrees and use within 2-3 days.
Questions and Answers:
Q: After I chilled my stock, it looks more solid and wiggles, did I make it correctly?
A: Yes! And you have made an excellent homemade chicken stock. What happened is that the collagen from the chicken bones causes the soup to gel. A rich well-cooked chicken stock will have this and results in a richer flavor.
Q: Is the layer of fat normal on top of the frozen chicken stock? A: Yes! Sometimes a little layer of chicken fat will form on the top of the frozen stock, simply scrape into the trash with a spoon and you are ready to reheat. Add some water in your pot, add the block of frozen chicken stock, turn the heat on high, and once it boils you are ready to use in a recipe.
Soup recipes to make with your Homemade Chicken Stock: