Boxed or canned stock is handy to keep stocked in your pantry, but it will never quite taste as good as homemade chicken stock. Store bought stock will also always have a higher level of sodium, even the “low sodium” versions. By starting out without salt in the stock, you can add it to taste as you cook your dish. Simply using a homemade batch of chicken stock in any soup, stew or chili automatically ups the quality and rich flavors. And who doesn’t want awesome tasting chili???

Sometimes it’s nice to have some ice cubes made from stock on hand to quickly up the flavor of pan sauces. Making it at home gives you the option to freeze it in any portion size you’d like. It also gives you the option to flavor the chicken stock to your taste – whichever dried herbs you prefer can be substituted.

No matter how you plan to use stock, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. It truly is simple. I have even made it as I started my soup recipe. The stock was ready just in time to add to my sauteed sauteed soup veggies. Bonus, since it was already hot, it cut down on the soup’s overall cooking time.

Chicken Stock

Making chicken stock at home is very forgiving. With only a few ingredients, you can create something that is leaps and bounds better than the boxed or canned stuff.

You will need a stock pot (~8 quarts in size). A fine mesh strainer is also helpful, but not critical.

Course Soup, staple
Cuisine Simple
Keyword chicken, soup, stock
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 quarts


  • Bones from 1 chicken can be raw or cooked, such as leftover from a rotisserie chicken
  • 2 carrots, cut in half or thirds
  • 2 yellow onions, cut in half
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • water to cover


  1. Put the first 6 ingredients into a stock pot.

    5 Ingredient Chicken Stock
  2. Cover with cold water and place on the stove over high heat.

  3. Once boiling, reduce the heat so the water continues to simmer.

  4. Allow to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    If you see any foam gathering on the surface while the pot is simmering, skim it off and discard.

  5. When it tastes done (it will taste like more than water!), take it off the heat. Remove the large chunks and then strain it through a fine mesh strainer. 

  6. Portion into individual containers or freezer bags and allow to cool before refrigerating.

Recipe Notes

The stock can be strained directly into storage containers or use it immediately in a soup or to cook grains.

Make yourself a batch of stock for the freezer. There’s no better time than when the fall weather hits. It will make all the difference in your cool weather soups and stews.

Happy eating!

Welcome to 5 Ingredient Friday! Here you'll find a recipe with 5 ingredients or less (shhh... water, oil, salt, pepper don't count). Recipes don't need a lot of ingredients to be yummy. Fewer ingredients means simpler prep. It also means you'll have them memorized in no time. 5 Ingredient recipes are the backbone of my everyday cooking. I hope you find a place for this recipe in your kitchen.