Homemade Chicken Stock

Are you one of those types who, after having a delicious, succulent and potentially costly Sunday roast, looks at the carcass of your far from alive chicken and feels slightly guilty, both monetarily and in conscience, about wasting such fine remains? I have a confession, I am one of these ignominious characters who lets his penchant for laziness get the better of him week in week out and neglects to stew up the bones of his deceased hen with but one thing in mind; chicken stock. After all, let’s not beat around the bush, chicken stock does take a fair amount of time and effort to prepare. However, you must take my word for it that by making one’s own stock one really will be sampling the cream of the bone marrow crop.

One can flavour their chicken stock in anyway one chooses, however, I believe this to be a very simple yet very effective means of doing so. I highly recommend home-drying some rosemary for this recipe as it has a flavour scarcely found in supermarket varieties. One could use fresh rosemary quite happily, but I find its flavour rather less intense. Time was short when preparing this batch of stock so it couldn’t be chilled over-night, this isn’t a big deal but if one really has one’s heart set on removing every last bit of unnecessary fat an over-night cooling does come recommended.

Chicken Stock

Makes around 1 litre


• The carcass of 1 large chicken, I used 2 small birds

• 1 Onion, roughly quartered

• 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

• 2 bay leaves

• A twig of dried rosemary, fresh will suffice

• A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme

• 10 black peppercorns

• Plenty of seasoning


1. Throw everything into a large casserole pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 2-3 hours with the lid on, season to taste.

2. Remove all the remaining bones and vegetables by straining the stock through sieve. Pour into a bowl and leave in the fridge overnight. Remove the layer of fat and scum that has formed on the top and store for up to 3 days in the fridge or for much longer in the freezer.

Cost: I’m going to give the chicken carcass a nominal price of 1p as it is very rarely used and is something very many people wouldn’t even consider using. This stock, of which there is 1 litre or so, should cost roughly 20-25p to produce. This is a fantastic deal considering just how versatile chicken stock is. Indeed, a new recipe shall soon be posted which makes very good use of this exquisite recipe.

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73 comments on “Homemade Chicken Stock

  1. thecompletecookbook
    October 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Aah yes, the guilt does wash over me when I throw the carcass into the bin – I was able to appease myself while living in Mauritius as I kept all bones for friends dogs to munch on.
    I do promise to TRY and keep the next one and make stock.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    October 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    It is so worth the effort and you can just leave it on the stove while you’re doing other things. I use the vegetable scraps from the rest of the meal, so it doesn’t even take extra time.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      Exactly! I would, but we generally eat all of our scraps :D.

  3. Mark
    October 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Adding (clean) vegetable offcuts from the sunday roast is also a good idea! I usually throw everything into my slow cooker overnight. Comes out deliciously useful!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      Oh yeh, it definitely is. That’s a great idea, but I don’t have a slow cooker – I don;t think I ever will either… I’m a bit of a traditionalist.

  4. buttery77
    October 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    There’s nothing better than home-made stock and it is no way as difficult as people make out. to be even more frugal, I keep all my vegetable trimmings and peeling in a freezer bag and when it is full, the contents get tipped into the pot with the carcass. My recipe is exactly the same as yours, except I roast the bones a second time for about 20mins with the peelings and a garlic clove,making the final stock darker and richer without adding any butter etc….

    • frugalfeeding
      October 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm

      There really isn’t! I totally agree with the vegetable scraps thing, but we tend to just make enough for all of us. The roasting idea is a nice idea, perhaps I shall give it a go – though it was perfectly rich.

  5. elaina
    October 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Mmmm…all your recipes are so heart-warming, perfect for this time of year! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine
    October 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    This sounds like a great Autumn recipe. Makes me feel warm and toasty. 🙂 Thank you!

  7. Arturo Féliz-Camilo
    October 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Love it!

  8. Meg
    October 5, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I am going to try this next time I eat whole chicken. I use stock in so much of my cooking. Thank you!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      Great! I do like anyone and everyone trying out my recipes, it makes it all worth while.

  9. countrywoodsmoke
    October 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Anything encouraging people to waste less should be applauded, looking forward to seeing what you do with your stock

  10. sportsglutton
    October 5, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Whenever possible I always make our own homemade stock…its just so easy. Cheers!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      That’s really good to hear 😀 I think I shall start making it every time and then blogging a new recipe I used it with 😀

  11. Janis
    October 6, 2011 at 1:40 am

    You are on a roll! You’re quite unstoppable! 🙂

  12. Sara
    October 6, 2011 at 1:52 am

    I always use the bones to make chicken stock! I roast them first in the oven along with the vegetables first though to bring out more flavor. Have you noticed how a lot of chicken stock recipes swear you have to use a whole chicken (rather than the carcass)? Definitely NOT frugal. I buy free-range chickens so they are already pricey, so I feel compelled to use every bit! And I am perfectly pleased with the bones (though I did buy some chicken feet to throw in my batches as it’s supposed to make stock tastier. As you can imagine, that’s a practically free ingredient)!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm

      You so don’t! All properly traditional recipes simply use the bones – the meat has very little taste in comparison with the bone marrow etc…

  13. Patti
    October 6, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Nice! I’ve always been intimidated with making my own stock, but throwing everything in a pot sounds pretty manageable to me! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Bluejellybeans
    October 6, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Great idea! It is true that must of the time I end throwing away the carcass out of pure laziness…I’ll try this easy and delicious recipe, it looks too good to resist, especially now that the cold weather is here.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm

      Please do, it works so well and is perfect for this tie of the year.

  15. bitsandbreadcrumbs
    October 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve always done this the other way around, making stock from the chicken as I cook it, then continuing on with soup or stew using the stock and the chicken meat. This makes perfect sense, though, and I’ll be making stock the next time I have a chicken carcass to use. Homemade stock is so much tastier than packaged, and cheaper for sure!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm

      I completely agree. I’m so glad you’re going to try it.

  16. Megan
    October 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Beautiful photos!

  17. thebigfatnoodle
    October 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Nothing beats home-made, I’m with you on the stock front! 🙂

  18. nico
    October 7, 2011 at 12:12 am

    okay, so I have only ready two posts on your blog and I am already kind of obsessed. I have always wanted to make a whole roast chicken (but never had enough people to cook for and now I do) plus now I can use the bones for stock!


  19. Vivek
    October 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I love making my own chicken stock – makes the house smell incredible! And since I always buy whole chickens, I just keep the backs, necks, bones, etc in the freezer until I have gathered enough to make a huge batch of stock!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

      That was my first though – the house smells AMAAAAZING. That’s a really good attitude.

  20. Yinzerella
    October 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Here is a suggestion: keep the onion whole and stud it with whole cloves. I did this for one of my dinners (chicken pot pie) and it just made the broth outrageous. It really deepened the flavor.
    Another tip–when you make homemade stock, pour it into ice cube trays and put the cubes in a bag in the freezer. Whether you need a little or a lot you have them handy. Waste not want not!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 10, 2011 at 10:41 am

      I’m not a fan of cloves I’m afraid. I saw the ice cube trick on another site recently, but generally I’d use a whole batch of stock in one go after making it.

  21. Jereme's Kitchen
    October 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I make stocks a lot more during the fall and winter. The stove helps heat up the kitchen and the aromas can fill the house! Luv the recipe

    • frugalfeeding
      October 10, 2011 at 10:46 am

      I’ll be doing it with every bone of meat I get!

  22. Just Add Attitude
    October 8, 2011 at 12:21 am

    There is something deeply satisfying about making your own chicken stock. I made some a couple of weekends ago and I love knowing that there are portions of it left in the freezer.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

      It’s just nice knowing you’ve made it yourself, plus it tastes better.

  23. Mary
    October 8, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Greetings…and thank you for commenting on my blog post about homemade chicken broth.

    Your broth looks lovely also…very rich.

    There are some wonderful comments here and I have enjoyed reading everyone’s tips. I have done a number of the things mentioned such as storing scraps in the freezer until ready to use, etc., but one of my favorite things to do is simply to keep a stock pot at the ready as I make dinner. I toss in my scraps as I go. In the end I have lots of goodies to make a nice stock or broth.

    One thing I do not do is use garlic in my chicken broth. I find that it can sometimes give the broths slightly off-putting taste. Especially, if the broth is to be stored in the freezer. Instead, I save the garlic for when I make soup using the broth.

    Look forward to reading your blog and trying some of your recipes.

    All the best,


    • frugalfeeding
      October 10, 2011 at 10:49 am

      That’s a great idea! I love my comments :). I’m currently sitting down with a bucket of coffee going through them all before I go off to work. It really doesn’t need garlic, as it is so flavourful anyway.

  24. nataliadecuba
    October 9, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Beautiful post and terrific advice; I love having a good homemade chicken stock at the ready!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

      I can’t wait for our next chicken! I’ll need to think of a new recipe to post.

  25. Jill
    October 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    You have such great humor to your writing and this is one of my favorite posts. It’s both informative and entertaining (plus it’s a great solution to dealing with leftovers when you make a chicken dish). thanks!

  26. Paige
    October 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I love making chicken stock, and this looks even better than my usual recipe. Lovely photography, too!

  27. cyanidelollipopdesigns
    October 10, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I’m so glad you came to my blog and showed me yours! I love the recipes that you have and will be using quite a few of them in my own home! I’m sure my DH will love this!

  28. Copis
    October 13, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    This is my favorite thing to do – it feels like such a bonus when you get “free” stock out of a delicious roast chicken! Great idea to use rosemary, I’ll try that next time.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      It really is a bonus, I’m making more tonight.

  29. mytastehistaste
    October 14, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I was just feeling guilty yesterday for not making my own stock for my soups. Am i right that if you “reduce” the stock, you increase the concentration? Some cooking may want the taste of stock but not the amount of liquid?

    • frugalfeeding
      October 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Yes, as almost all of what you lose is simply water. Cook it for longer if you want it to take up less space and simply re-hydrate it during the cooking process – or don’t.

  30. littlelotusblossom
    October 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I love how easy it is to make chicken stock! Chicken is not nearly as inexpensive as it used to be, and I too used to feel wasteful when I threw away chicken carcasses. I finally just started sticking them into large freezer bags (veg and all) and chucking them right into the freezer. When I’m ready to make stock, I roast everything before simmering in a pot if I feel a bit more ambitious, but as I’m a lazy bum, I just toss it all into the pot with some fresh veg and simmer away.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      I’m making more tonight! I can’t wait. Good to see you’ve started.

  31. K. Ryan Henisey
    October 16, 2011 at 3:30 am

    There is nothing I enjoy more than the smell of stock simmering in the pot. Thanks for sharing your recipe – I might try it with my current refrigerator-carcass tomorrow.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      The scent permeated the entire house, it was divine.

  32. whisksandchopsticks
    October 17, 2011 at 4:27 am

    That looks very flavorful. Will give it a try the next time I roast a chicken. 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      October 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      You should. I shall be doing it again tomorrow and I already can’t wait! It is so delicious.

  33. joyskitchen
    October 19, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I make my own stock as well – the trick I use for veggies is I wash everything even if it has a skin that you peel, then once you peel it – everything that you would normally throw away, toss in a large freezer bag and keep in the freezer until you have a full bag. When you do or when you have a chicken carcass – throw it all in the crock pot (slow cooker) and cook on low overnight. – In the morning strain the bones and chunks out, and your stock is ready to use – or I do the fridge thing and cool and scrape the grease off the top too. Awesome post! And a great way to make chicken stock without any gluten! (something a lot of my customers have sensitivities around)

    • frugalfeeding
      October 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      That’s great to hear! The more people doing it the better!

  34. petit4chocolatier
    November 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Looks so warm, comfy and delicious!

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