Budget Living: Make Your Own Chicken Stock

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You’ve probably heard it said again and again how you can save money by making your own ______________ (fill in the blank). From baked goods to birthday cakes, cooking from scratch generally is the less expensive road to travel.

One of the easiest things to make yourself (and it tastes better, too) is chicken stock. Last night we enjoyed a roast chicken and home fries for dinner. Afterward, I made a pot of stock — and a video to show you how you can do it, too.

(I’m still getting the hang of vlogging, so bear with my shaky camera techniques. Hope you don’t get seasick.) If you’d rather forego the video, here’s what to do:

Place all the chicken bones, drippings and skin into a large pot. I use a crockpot, but you could just use a “stockpot” on the stovetop. Add to the pot the following: any drippings left in the roasting pan, half an onion, a handful of chopped carrots, a bay leaf, 5-6 peppercorns, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and enough water to cover, about half a gallon. Allow this to simmer for several hours on the cooktop or up to 8 hours in your crockpot. Then, remove the large solids and discard. Strain the broth. Taste it to check how strong it is. If it has a weak flavor, allow it to simmer until some water has evaporated, leaving a thicker flavor behind. Use as you would regular chicken bouillon or canned broth. Cool completely if storing in the frig or freezer.

Hint: If you store it overnight in the refrigerator, the fat will solidify and be easier to remove for a lower fat content broth.

Related: For more money saving ideas, visit Frugal Friday.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Zimms Zoo says

    I make chicken stock all the time. I used to forget about it though,so now I mark it on my menu planner (that is on the front of the fridge) when I have a recipe that needs chicken stock so that I will remember to use it before I pull the handy can.

  2. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says

    I usually do it after Thanksgiving with the turkey and do it in a big stock pot. I haven’t ever done chicken stock because I rarely cook a whole chicken. The crock pot would be great for chicken since it isn’t so big.

  3. JessieLeigh says

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve tried to make my own stock before but was always disappointed with how “greasy” it tasted to me… maybe that fridge tip will help me make a stock that better suits my palate!

  4. I make my own stock, too, but usually with my raw chicken carcass. When whole chickens are on sale, I buy a bunch and then cut them into pieces and put them in freezer bags (I learned how to efficiently cut up a chicken from Alton Brown). Thighs, legs, and boneless breast all go into the freezer for later use, and all the other parts go into the crockpot or stockpot (depending on the volume of bones and if I have time to watch the pot). I spice mine very similarly to yours, but add some dried sliced ginger for flavor and medicinal properties (I get mine at Penzys.com).

    If I have a bunch of stock, and I have time, I’ve started canning it so that I don’t have to mess with freezing it/having space in my freezer, though it has to process for 90 minutes in my pressure canner, which is sometimes a bit of a pain. My husband found me a turkey fryer on clearance at Home Depot, and we use the high-BTU burner outside so I don’t have to mess with the heat/noise of the pressure canner inside.) The stock is yummy, and when one of us is sick, or a friend is coming down with something, I can now just grab a jar, open it, add some chunkies, and we’re good to go with delicious goodness.

    All that from what some people throw out!

  5. lerinleigh says

    Do you reuse the carrots and onion after your stock is done? How about your roast chicken recipe…want to share?

  6. Jessika says

    How perfect! I was just getting ready to make some stock from the carcass left over from Moo Shu chicken from last night’s dinner.
    Happy Friday!

  7. Mommy Kerrie says

    my husband totally knows how to do this, and canning and gardening and sewing. i feel so non-girly sometimes. God knew what He was doing when he put the 2 of us together for sure. i’m english; he’s math! bring on the homeschool high school years!

  8. Christina says

    We had soup tonight made from stock just the way you show (but on the stove). I used a cooked chicken from costco. We had chicken from it for dinner one night, then I made soup out of it and that lasted for two nights. Three dinners from a $5 chicken!

    To make the soup, I do what you do, except that I boil on the stove for 2-3 hours, then after I separate the liquid, I pull off the meat and add it back to the pot. I saute onions, celery, and carrots and add that. Then add a starch like rice or barley or noodles. A dash of wine and some spices are the final touch.

  9. FishMama says

    JL, let me know how it works for you!

    Lerinleigh, the roast chicken was super easy. I just rinsed it and rubbed a combination of butter and spice rub under the skin. Then I baked it at 375 for about an hour and 25 minutes.

    As for the veggies in the stock, having cooked all night in the crockpot, their flavor was pretty much sucked out. I know some people use them, but I don’t. Perhaps it’s a personal preference?

    Jessika and Christina, great minds, ya know?

    Sarah, great ideas!

  10. CountryMama@The Cozy Country Home says

    Your first video was fantastic!! Looking forward to more! Believe it or not we have a roast chicken often (each time I take a trip to Sams) and never once have I made a stock! Now that I know how I’ll have to try it!! Thanks for the tips!

  11. PAXbaby says

    Hold onto your chicken carcasses, girls!! I’m going to give this a whirl tonight 🙂
    THANKS for the great tips!

  12. JessieLeigh says

    What a helpful video and some great instructions!

    You were the one who taught me to put my stock in the fridge to get all that fatty gunk off- can't thank you enough for that!

    Thanks so much for linking up to the Stock Exchange. Your readers had great tips in the comments too.

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