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Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock

From soups and stews to braises, homemade chicken stock produces rich, flavorful results far superior to anything you will find in a can or a box.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Course Soup
Keyword chicken, soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 quarts


  • 3 5-pound roasting chickens
  • 3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves, cut into thirds
  • 4 parsnips, unpeeled and halved
  • 20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns


  1. Place all ingredients in a 20-quart stockpot and add 7 quarts of water. Bring to a boil then adjust heat to maintain a low simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. 

  2. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids. If necessary, strain again using a mesh strainer.

  3. Chill the stock overnight then remove the fat from the surface. Use stock immediately or portion and freeze for up to 3 months. 

Recipe Notes

After simmering, I strain the stock into the next biggest pot I have and sometimes need to use an additional saucepan. Then I pour it all through a mesh strainer back into the original stockpot.

For food safety purposes, the stock should not sit out at room temperature for more than a couple of hours. But if you stick this quantity of piping hot stock in your refrigerator you are likely to bring down your refrigerator temperature. If you need to cool it quickly, turn your kitchen sink into a water bath. Plug the drain to the sink and set the stockpot full of hot stock in the middle. Fill the sink with ice and cold water until it reaches about halfway up the side of the pot. Stir the stock occasionally until the temperature has dropped enough to refrigerate. Transfer stock to one or more smaller pots if necessary to fit it into your refrigerator.

Once thoroughly chilled, you can remove the surface fat and then use or freeze the stock. To save for future use, I portion into freezer bags in various quantities (1 cup, 1 quart, etc.) Lay freezer bags flat on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen the bags can be rearranged to save space.

***If you have a severe gluten allergy or sensitivity or otherwise are serious about eliminating gluten from your diet, always check your labels carefully and buy certified gluten free products.